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Series-by-Series






San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks
Beyond the Box Score
Do you want to analyze the playoffs matchups like the coaches do? Then go Beyond the Box Score and get the tools the coaches use. Beyond the Box Score uses the IBM Advanced Scout data-mining program to provide NBA coaches with a detailed statistical breakdown of upcoming opponents. You can also go Beyond the Box Score by watching NBA Matchup on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET on ESPN.

The Lone Star state of Texas is a big state, but during the playoffs it is only big enough for either the San Antonio Spurs or the Dallas Mavericks. One team will have their season come to an end, and the other will move on to the next round. The regular season series between the Spurs and Mavericks was won by the Spurs 3 games to 1 but the Mavericks proved how tough a they can be by disposing of the Jazz in round one.

With an assist from IBM's data-mining program Advanced Scout, let's take a closer look at the regular season matchups between these two teams.

April 10, at San Antonio: Spurs won 91-79
February 24, at Dallas: Spurs won 107-104
February 13, at San Antonio: Spurs won 104-92
November 10, at Dallas: Mavericks won 79-77


San Antonio's versions of the Twin Towers (David Robinson and Tim Duncan) have been shinning bright

Duncan
Duncan
Robinson
Robinson
With their two seven-footers in the game together, the Spurs have overpowered the Mavericks 195-162 (+33) and held the Mavericks' shooters to 37 percent (63-of-172) shooting. In particular, there are two matchups that have been exploited by the Spurs.

When Duncan was at power forward and Robinson was at center for the Spurs and Dirk Nowitzki at power forward and Shawn Bradley at center for the Mavericks, then the Spurs outscored the Mavericks 62-45 (+17) and held the Mavericks' shooting to only 31 percent (15-of-48).

When Juwan Howard was power forward and Bradley was at center for the Mavericks, then they were outscored by the Spurs by 15 (39-24), although their shooting percentage did rise slightly to 33 percent (9-of-27), but the Spurs shot an impressive 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field.

One combination that did work against the twin towers of the Spurs was when Howard was power forward and Calvin Booth was at center for the Mavericks. The Mavericks outscored the Spurs 21-16 (+5), while they shot 45 percent (9-of-20) from the field and held the Spurs to 37 percent (7-of-19) shooting.

Positioning Eisley:

Eisley
Eisley
The Mavericks performance seemed to be related to the position Howard Eisley was playing. When Eisley was at point guard, the Mavericks were outscored by 16 (134-150) and Eisley shot 25 percent (5-of-20) from the field. However, when Eisley was playing shooting guard the Mavericks outscored the Spurs by 3 (84-81) and Eisley shot at an improved 56 percent (5-of-9).

 
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