Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
The defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers are without a doubt the two teams favored to advance to the NBA Finals during these NBA playoffs. Not many people would argue the chances of these two NBA heavyweights meeting when it is all said and done, but with the defending champs looking a little banged up the Dallas Mavericks could end up being the team to come out of the West.
Obviously there are still two more rounds of playoff series to go before the NBA Finals are set, but that will never stop the people from speculating how things will finish in the two conferences.
Coming into the playoffs the Dallas Mavericks had arguably the biggest challenge of any of the high seeds in the Western Conference. The San Antonio Spurs have been arguably one of the most successful NBA franchises in the last decade or so as they have won three NBA titles in the last ten years and a total of four in the last 11.
That kind of success will never go unnoticed and is definitely something in that back of the mind of Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban during this first round playoff series. In game one of this series, the Mavs dominated as predicted, but game two was another story altogether as Dirk Nowitzki and company struggled in the loss that evened up the series at 1-1.
Despite the game two victory by the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks are still favored to win this series and for good reason. Even though the Spurs have the titles, the Mavs have the talent and are arguably the hungrier team right now as they have their sights set on the NBA Finals.
The Spurs do have the big name talent in Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and especially Tim Duncan, but the Mavs have the better all around squad in this series in my opinion. The bench play in this series will be huge as the Mavs have arguably the deepest bench the league with Jason Terry leading the way.
With that being said, I believe the Dallas Mavericks being as deep as they are will be the turning point this series from here on out. The Spurs aren’t getting any younger, they may have promising young talent in rookie DeJuan Blair and point guard George Hill, but their veterans are starting to show signs of age and that will become apparent in the final games of this series.
Even though the San Antonio Spurs always seem to put a great team on the floor, the success and longevity has to end sometime and I believe that time is now as I can’t see them beating the Mavs in this seven game series.
The only way I see the Spurs gaining an edge in this series is if Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili start to dominate in the next couple of games. When these two players get hot, the Spurs are extremely tough team to beat and that was obvious in game two.
Ultimately though, the Dallas Mavericks will advance as the Spurs will not be able to contain the Mavs multiple weapons on offense.