2014 NBA Playoffs: San Antonio Spurs Move on to Conference Semi-Finals
First, Air Alamo would like to thank The Smoking Cuban for diligently working with us throughout the first round of these 2014 NBA Playoffs. The Smoking Cuban, as well as the Dallas Mavericks as a whole, could not have been more professional during each of these seven games and, now, will root for their Texas rival through the Conference Semi-Finals against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Jose De Leon of The Smoking Cuban recaps the Spurs domination of Game 7:
The Mavericks held a lead for all of 19 seconds in Game 7. Dirk Nowitzki made the first basket of the game to put Dallas up 2-0. On the next possession, Tim Duncan tied it up following an offensive rebound and that was all she wrote.
Duncan had 15 points and eight rebounds but was not the story of the game. Tony Parker was not ready for an early summer vacation and came to play scoring a game-high 32 points on an efficient 11-19 shooting. He got nearly everything he wanted but completely carved up the Dallas “D” inside. Seven of his 11 makes came in the paint, with six coming around the rim. He certainly saved his best for last as he averaged 17.8 PPG through Game 6.
BET ON GREEN: Danny Green was a non factor in the first five games of the series averaging 3.4 PPG. Over the last two, he averaged 16.5 PPG and was 6-8 from beyond the arc. He had just five three pointers in the first five games of the series. Those two misses from three over the last two games were his only misses.
STARTERS DON’T HELP DIRK: Calderon, Shawn Marion and Samuel Dalembert combined for just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. Calderon missed both of his three point attempts, Marion had two of the Mavs starters five turnovers and Dalembert played eight minutes. He did have four offensive rebounds but Dallas scored just once on those second chances.
Spurs are ROUTING Mavericks in 1st half of Game 7. San Antonio is shooting 72% from the floor and leads by 27 points. Tony Parker: 20 Pts.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 4, 2014
Our own Featured Columnist Nick Elizondo explains the recent spectacular play of 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker:
Parker led the Spurs with 24 points (9-12 shooting), two rebounds and two assists in just the first half. He finished the game with 32 points (11-19 shooting), four rebounds, and four assists in 34 minutes. It finally felt like the Spurs were playing the way we were all waiting for. Parker was getting to the rim at will and creating enough space to get most of his jumpers to sink in. He even let former teammate Dejuan Blair know that it was getting too easy for him to score. His aggressiveness with taking the ball to the hole ended with him getting to the free throw line 13 times, which tied his season high. His penetration and kick outs really helped the Spurs move the ball around, and get those extra passes in, which allowed open three pointers for the Spurs. He struggled the first few minutes in the second half, which every second half starter for the Spurs did, but then began to push and continue being aggressive.
Spurs beat Mavericks in Game 7– 1st time Dirk Nowitzki has lost a Game 7 (4-1)
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 4, 2014
Though the final score of Game 7 may say otherwise, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle did a stellar coaching job throughout this series. He, arguably, out-coached Gregg Popovich through the first few games of Round 1, and even made some crafty lineup changes in Game 7. Popovich had nothing but praise for the Jim Carrey-lookalike; from Fred Silva of Pounding the Rock:
Enough cannot be said about how good of a coach Rick Carlisle is. This Mavericks team’s talent level is far inferior to that of the Spurs. They are old and can’t defend, yet Carlisle gave this team a chance to beat the team that is favored to come out of the West. He kept the Spurs uncomfortable the entire series, even down 29 points he changed the momentum of the game, even if it was briefly, from the sideline.
He started Jose Calderon, Devin Harris, Monta Ellis, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzkiin the second half and they began it with a 15 to 7 run. Eventually, Pop matched Carlisle’s small lineup and the Spurs took their time and executed to put the game out of reach. With the Spurs finally playing consistent, high-energy basketball for 48 minutes, the gap in these teams’ available talent was on full display.
Rick Carlisle finally waved the white flag with 5:47 remaining in the fourth quarter, his team down and insurmountable 30 points, 111-81. After the game, Gregg Popovich gave Rick Carlisle a standing ovation, “Rick did a great job with his game plan and coaches. He confounded us and his players were great… The organization can be really proud of that group in a lot ways.”
Final: Spurs 119, Mavericks 96. Spurs Big Three: 61 points. Leonard with 13 points, 6 rebounds. Green with 13 points, 3 3′s.
— Project Spurs (@projectspurs) May 4, 2014
Keep tuning into Air Alamo for continued playoff coverage of the San Antonio Spurs all the way through the NBA Finals. Again, thanks to the Dallas Mavericks and The Smoking Cuban for their consistent professionalism and support beyond this first-round series.