Mavericks vs Spurs – Game 2 Picks

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs

Game 2

Wednesday, 8:05 pm EST

April 23, 2014

Line: San Antonio Spurs -8

The Dallas Mavericks had Game 1 all but won, until Tony Parker drained a 13-foot jumpshot with 2:45 to go in the fourth quarter giving the Spurs a two-point lead.

The NBA’s best team never relinquished the lead.

Heading into Game 2, the formula for the Mavericks is simple: get Dirk Nowitzki the ball and allow him to go to work. If the Mavericks believe they’re going to be competitive in the series, Nowitzki and Ellis must be the Mavericks two best players. Both players, who were each 4-of-14 from the floor and finished with 11 points, were simply not good enough to beat the No. 1 seed in the West.

The Mavericks cannot survive if Devin Harris is the team’s best player in Games 2, 3, and 4. If that’s the case, the Mavericks won’t be around much longer. Despite being 35, Nowitzki remains the focal point of the Mavs’ offense. Averaging 21.7 points this season, good for 13th in the NBA, Nowitzki must be a difference maker. Nowitzki’s ability to score is vital to the Mavs winning. In Game 1, he never found a rhythm against the Spurs, but the future Hall of Famer is too good to struggle again in Game 2. Then again, the three-time NBA Coach of the Year, Gregg Popovich, has been to this rodeo before.

It’s yet to be seen if Nowitzki simply had a poor shooting night, or if Popovich simply outcoached Rick Carlisle in Game 1. After a heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals one year ago, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili still continue to play at an elite level. While Duncan was the engine that drove the Spurs to victory in Game 1, Parker’s 21 points saved the Spurs from seeking a series split in Game 2. Instead they are now looking to go up 2-0.

But before you think about whom you’re going to take, don’t be so quick to jump on the Spurs bandwagon. The Mavericks went scoreless for 5½ minutes during the Spurs 15-0 run, including 12 consecutive missed shots from the floor – four were by Nowitzki. And despite not being able to close out Game 1, the Mavericks only lost by 5.

By no means do I believe that if Nowitzki scores 25 points or more, the Mavericks are guaranteed to win. Against the Spurs this season, Nowitzki has had games of 25 and 22 points, but the Mavericks lost both times. He’s been too impressive over his career to be shut down two games in a row. He struggled in Game 1. Don’t expect him to struggle again in Game 2.

Expect this game is to come down to the wire. Riding the shoulders of Nowitzki, I’m taking the Mavericks and the points. I recommend you do the same.

My Pick: Mavericks +8

April 23, 2014 by : Posted in Picks and Predictions No Comments
Adam Rosen

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Adam Rosen is a seasoned sports writer with special interests in Pro Football and Basketball. He has been picking sports games against the spread for years, and has posted a 56% win rate over his last 75 predictions.

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