Anticipation builds for Game 2 at the AAC
No. 7 San Antonio Spurs (0-1) at No. 2 Dallas Mavericks (1-0)
After a 100-94 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Sunday's Game 1, the Mavericks know they will get their opposition's best effort the second time around. So, the Mavs are putting extra value on Wednesday night's matchup, well aware that they can take a 2-0 edge before the series travels to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4.
"(Game 2) is the most difficult of the series," Carlisle said. "One team has lost and one team has won. If you're the team that's won, you better get your energy up because you know they're going to bring it."
That's the position the Mavericks are in now.
With both teams likely to make several adjustments in the second matchup, Game 2 could take on a much different feel, though the postseason intensity will still be in the American Airlines Center atmosphere.
For starters, the Mavericks will be looking to do a much better job of defending the Spurs' pick-and-roll offense. Still, the Mavericks don't want to fall into the loll of concentrating so much on the screen-and-roll game while allowing the Spurs to torch the Dallas defense from behind the three-point arch.
"It's very tough, because such a high percentage of their plays are pick-and-roll plays. And they've got really great facilitators, good screeners and rollers and a bunch of three-point shooters out there. It's going to be challenging. The important thing is five guys are engaged in it defensively, even though it's a two-man game. Everybody's got to be involved, because so many different things happen on their screen-and-roll," Carlisle said.
Dallas will also try to contain the trio of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. The three-headed monster that powers San Antonio's attack combined for 71 points in the first meeting. The Mavs believe that can't happen throughout the series if they are going to be successful.
"We can't let them get off, even if we are stopping the role players," the coach explained.
Sixth man Jason Terry echoed his coach's sentiments, but he believes that the key to the series lies in how well the Mavericks defend on the perimeter and in the interior.
"(Defending the 3-pointer shooters) is the key to the series. We have to win the battle of three-point shooting and points in the paint," Terry said.
On the offensive end, the Mavericks expect to see plenty of adjustments in Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's defensive schemes. Popovich decided to cover Dirk Nowitzki with a single defender for most of Game 1. He probably regrets that decision.
Nowitzki's 36 points on 12-of-14 from the field and 12-for-12 at the foul line made Popovich pay. The 7-footer expects the Spurs to employ a different strategy Wednesday night.
"I'm going to take whatever they give me. But they'll make changes and we'll be ready for them," Nowitzki said.
If a multitude of defenders do fly Nowitzki's way, that means that others will have to be ready. Point guard Jason Kidd says in anticipation of a heavy dose of double teams coming at No. 41, the Mavericks will have to attack the rim with more assertiveness and aggression.
"We want to be aggressive on the offensive end. I think the scouting report on us probably says that we rely on the jump shot, but I thought (Sunday night) was a great example of us not doing that and coming out and being aggressive, driving the ball to the basket and getting to the free throw line. That got us off to a good start and from there we just started driving the ball," Kidd said.
The Mavs' rim-attacking play translated into 20 more free throw attempts than the Spurs in the Game 1. Dallas would like that trend to continue.
Looking for a two-game advantage in the series, the Mavericks host the Spurs in the second matchup of the best-of-seven series. Game 2 will air nationally on TNT and locally on KTXA and KTXA HD at 8:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS.
The Mavs-Spurs First Round series schedule is as follows: Game 2 – Wed April 21 San Antonio at Dallas 8:30PM TXA21/ TNT Game 3 – Fri April 23 Dallas at San Antonio 8:30PM TXA21/ ESPN Game 4 – Sun April 25 Dallas at San Antonio 6:00PM TXA21/ TNT Game 5 * Tue April 27 San Antonio at Dallas TBD TXA21/ TBD Game 6 * Thu April 29 Dallas at San Antonio TBD TXA21/ TBD Game 7 * Sat May 1 San Antonio at Dallas TBD TXA21/ TNT
Mavs.com has introduces a new, interactive webcast entitled "Technical Foul," hosted by Mavs television broadcasters Mark Followill and Bob Ortegel. The second live-streamed broadcast will be Monday, April 26 at 12:30 p.m. CT, recapping Game 1 and previewing Game 2 of the series. Earl K. Sneed will also talk with fans and answer questions via a live chat during the show. Tune in for exclusive Mavs talk with the people that know the team the best.