Originally Posted by angryllama
Dallas is starting to exploit the Spurs' commitment to force the ball away from Dirk. Dallas' strength all season was their efficient offense. The story of this series is not about Dallas' defense, Duncan scoring, or Dirk Nowitzki scoring points. It's about Dallas offensive efficiency and whether or not the Spurs defense will make it inefficient. The Spurs eeked out a game 1 victory by making things very difficult for Dallas in the last 4-5 minutes. Dallas didnt execute well, and ultimately lost the game because they couldnt execute on the Spurs' defense on the last play. It's a classic battle: great half court defense vs. great half court offense.
The Spurs collective age has shown in this series. You mentioned energy, and I think that what we are really talking about is the Mavs' youngsters making their way against the Spurs' veterans. Ginobili looks old and beat up. Finley looks old. Van Exel is old. Barry is old. Bowen is old. Duncan's old. On the converse, Dallas' key contributors are all young in comparison (exept for Stack). Dallas should have the physical edge in a long series.
Thats the one thing that has become obvious in this year's playoffs. The Spurs age is starting to show. I dont think its Manu's age, he's still in his prime but his basketball body has a lot of mileage on it from playing International ball and deep into the playoffs over the years. I think Manu is tired but thats still not an excuse for his inconsistent play. I think he's trying too hard to make things happen out there. Bowen, I hate to say it, has played much better on offense in the playoffs than on defense and I cant believe I'm saying that. Finley has played well when given the chance and I think he's been a savior off the bench. TD is a legend and is trying his best to carry them on his back. TP hasnt shown up either but its still 1-1 and I hope SA can squeak 1 out in Dallas. Its good that the Spurs willl have three days off between games before game 3 on Saturday.
AJ has impacted the Mavs team in a tremendous way. He has them playing Spurs ball, which is defense and efficient ball movement on offense. Its now how many points you scored but how you score them, be it w/ movement and offensive rebounding. The Mavs have done that in this series.
This is no doubt the big boys series out West and its laughable to me to see JV teams (compared to the Spurs and Mavs) battle in the other spot. The Clipps and Suns are good teams but they are not the Spurs and Mavs and the winner of this series will win the West.