2014 NBA Playoffs: The San Antonio Spurs’ Panic Meter

By Nick Elizondo

Mandatory Credit:   Im-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs: After dropping Game 2 in San Antonio, the Spurs find themselves tied at 1-1 against the Dallas Mavericks. As the number one seed, the Spurs do not want to see themselves in the history books again by letting an eight seed beat them in the first round.

With Game 3 being back in Dallas, the Spurs have plenty of flaws that need fixing.

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The bench has gone timid throughout the series, and hasn’t been able to flourish on offense unlike the regular season. Manu Ginobili has been the only bench player, or Spurs player rather, that has been consistent on offense in both games. He is averaging 22 points per game but is also turning the ball over an average of five times. Regardless, it is still nice to see Ginobili playing aggressive in the playoffs.

Parker was impeccable in the first game, and although he shot 50 percent the second game, he only shot the ball 10 times. Parker needs to take over a little more, perhaps him watching Russell Westbrook taking a million shots and not getting his teammates involved has made him a little nervous to do so. At least Popovich has not only given him the green light to get more shots up, but is insisting he does so. We should all expect a big game from Parker for Game 3.

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs really need to play some Spurs basketball, and stop with these careless plays that lead to turnovers. Game 2 was one of the most frustrating games to watch for the Spurs. The team has constantly gone through scoring droughts and stayed in the game, but to shoot at a higher rate and just watching the lead of the opponent grow as the fans watch turnover after turnover is incredibly frustrating.

Perhaps the Spurs need to take some of that lockdown defense they have been putting on Dirk Nowitzki and start applying it to other players. When Shawn Marion puts up 20 with ease, that is not a good sign for the defense. I love the effort on Nowitzki, but the guards and Kawhi Leonard need to start stepping up.

Could this series be just like the Golden State Warriors conference semifinals from last year? Game 1 of each series included an improbable comeback from the Spurs, followed by very shaky play in each Game 2 which led to losses.

I believe that Warriors team was better than this Mavericks team, but this Mavericks team does have the better coach. Rick Carlisle has made some intelligent adjustments against the Spurs.

While its not like the Spurs to panic at all, I wouldn’t say there shouldn’t be any urgency in their style of play next game. While they should definitely stay calm, I wouldn’t mind seeing Tim Duncan with a vengeful look on his face coming out of the huddle when Game 3 starts.

Panic Meter: 4/10