The Spurs need to do whatever it takes to close out the Dallas Mavericks tonight in Game Six at San Antonio.
Whatever it takes.
Any time you give the Mavs a shot at a winner-take-all Game Seven on their home hardwood, you know Mark Cuban will be opening his mouth making meaningless comments about his arrogant team possibly coming back from a 3-1 deficit.
Please, for the love of the game and the love of God, don’t let that happen, San Antonio.
Here’s what it will take for the Spurs to finish off the Mavs tonight in Game Six…
Obviously, San Antonio’s defense will need to improve ten-fold from Tuesday’s night beat-down in Dallas if the Spurs hope to execute that final punch to Mark Cuban and the Mavericks tonight at home.
And it’s time to send Cuban and the Mavs home for good.
That begins, and ends of course, with San Antonio limiting Dallas’ lone gunmen in Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler.
After Butler’s 35-point performance in Game Five, it’s tough to overlook him again heading into tonight’s game in San Antonio.
If the Spurs can limit and stop both Nowitzki and Butler from scoring at will, San Antonio should be well on their way to a Game Six victory over the Mavs.
Both offensively and defensively, the trio of San Antonio’s stars in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker must continue to show up and provide the needed sparks for the Spurs to finish off the Mavericks in Game Six.
Fellow starters Richard Jefferson and George Hill must also contribute for San Antonio as the Spurs aim to complete a so-called upset in the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs.
With Parker leading the Spurs’ big three in scoring in Game Five with a mere 12 points (while Duncan netted 11 points and Ginobili scored seven), those numbers must improve if San Antonio wants to win Game Six tonight at home.
The Mavericks had 20 assists in their Game Five win over San Antonio, while the Spurs had just 11 dimes in their loss at Dallas.
Assists will be a key to San Antonio winning tonight at home, as the Spurs guards need to continue to penetrate the lane and kick the ball out to their open teammates.
Sadly, San Antonio had more turnovers (18) than assists (11) in Game Five in Dallas; and the Spurs must protect the ball and dish it off when needed for a wild, wild Western Conference round one win.
San Antonio guards: Protecting the ball and dishing off to your counterparts will be vital to winning tonight at home.
Matt Bonner did his best to give the Spurs a spark-plug off the bench in Game Five in Dallas, scoring 18 points in San Antonio’s blowout loss.
But it will take more than just Bonner coming off the bench to beat this stubborn Dallas Mavericks team.
DeJuan Blair and Roger Mason must do more during their time on the hardwood, and the team must also make major strides in terms of their long-range shooting (San Antonio shot just 3-for-16 from beyond the arc in Game Five; just 18.8 percent).
If the Spurs’ bench can outscore and outmuscle the Mavs’ bench, San Antonio will be capturing that coveted round one victory over their intrastate rivals tonight in Game Six.
Getting to the free throw line, being aggressive on both ends of the hardwood, and finishing off the job at hand will all be vital parts to a San Antonio win tonight.
The Spurs did a fairly good job of getting to the charity stripe in Game Five, shooting 28 free throws, but they also must limit how often they foul the Mavericks players in the paint (Dallas took 33 shots from the free throw line in Game Five).
Being aggressive, and staying aggressive the entire game, will also be a key to the Spurs knocking off the pesky Mavs tonight in San Antonio.
In Game Five, there was little to no effort from the entire San Antonio team; and it’s a necessity for the Spurs to come out hot and ready to complete the job when the game tips off this evening.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich has done a damn good job getting his underdog team to this point; it’s now up to the team to finish this one off.
And if San Antonio plays as well as we’ve seen them play in prior matchups with the Mavs, we can all be celebrating a Spurs win tonight in Game Six…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at email@example.com