- Created on Sunday, 20 February 2011 16:40
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
As of the All-Star break the Spurs were the owners of the best record in the NBA (46-10) and if the season were to end today the owners of the No 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Dallas Mavericks are sitting pretty themselves with a record of 40-16, the fifth best in the league, and a solid hold on the No 2 seed were the playoffs to start today.
Die-hard fans for both teams would probably love to be the ones to knock their in-state rival out of the post-season. Over the last decade the Spurs have ended the NBA Finals hopes of the Mavericks three times, once in the Finals (2002-03), the Semi-Finals (2000-01), and most recently in the first round last season.
Dallas has been able to return the favor twice, once in the Semi-finals in 2005-06 and again in the first round of the 2008-09 season.
With the way both teams are playing it would not be surprising to see another All-Texas Conference Finals like back in 2002-03.
San Antonio has been cruising through the competition this season. They have been virtually unbeatable at home this season only dropping a pair of games (25-2). On the road they are not too shabby either with a record of 21-8.
They have been one of the best offensive teams in the league averaging more than 103 points a game while their stingy defense has held opponents to just over 96 a game for a point differential of more than seven points, second best in the league.
While the Spurs have been masterful at home and very good on the road, the Mavericks have been good no matter where they play. Of their 16 losses eight have come at home and the other eight on the road.
Their approach appears to be to compliment a good offense (15th in the NBA with 98.89 points a game) with a strong defense (ninth in the NBA allowing 95.57 points a game).
What helps give the Mavericks an edge is the fact that they have already hit a low point and have had to battle through it. Of their 16 losses, eight of them came during an 11 game stretch in January. Unlike the Spurs, they have faced adversity and have already overcome it.
Some may call the Spurs going 7-3 over their last ten games prior to the All-Star break a sign of weakness; maybe a chink in what has been an almost impenetrable armor. What they fail to see is that it came during the most brutal road trip of the season for the Spurs while the rodeo had taken over their home court.
Dallas on the other hand appears to have gotten over their stretch of bad luck in January. Prior to the All-Star break they won nine of their last 10.
With 26 games left in the regular season there is still more than enough time for anything to happen, but for now it is safe to say that the Spurs and Mavericks are doing everything they can to give fans a reason to look forward to the post season.