San Antonio returns home for a pivotal Game 7 against the Mavericks, and the experts at Pro Edge Sports expect a very focused effort from head coach Gregg Popovich’s squad. “It doesn’t matter how many games it takes,” Tim Duncan said after the Spurs’ 113-111 loss in Dallas on Friday night. “We’re not worried or disappointed.” San Antonio is going the distance in a second straight playoff series after losing Game 7 of the NBA Finals in Miami last June, and we expect the Spurs to use that experience as a motivating factor.
Coach Popovich wasn’t pleased with his team’s defensive effort in Game 6. The Spurs gave up a combined 71 points in the first and fourth quarters, paving the way for the Mavericks to explode for 113 points when all was said and done. We expect a much better effort from the Spurs at the defensive end of the court tonight as they are limiting opponents to 97.6 points per game at home this season. Overall, San Antonio is 3.8 points per game better than average defensively (97.9 points per game to teams that would combine to average 101.7 points per game), which gives the Spurs a nominal 0.3 points per game advantage defensively over the Mavericks’ attack.
The big challenge facing Dallas is slowing down the Spurs’ explosive attack that is averaging 105.7 points per game at home this season on 49.6% shooting from the field and 41.8% from beyond the arc. Overall, San Antonio is 3.4 points per game better than average offensively (105.0 points per game against teams that combine to allow 101.6 points per game), which is certainly good enough to exploit a weak Dallas defense that is yielding 103.7 points per game to division opponents and 102.6 points over the last five games.
The technical analysis is basically a wash as there are situations and trends favoring both sides. Here are the most relevant angles pertaining to tonight’s game:
San Antonio Spurs:
- Spurs are 44-25 ATS versus teams with a win percentage between .510 and .600;
- Spurs are 23-12 ATS following an upset loss;
- Spurs are 34-19 ATS after scoring more than 109 points in their previous game
- Mavericks are 16-5 ATS as underdogs of 3.5 to 9.5 points;
- Mavericks are 20-7 ATS as road underdogs;
- Mavericks are 16-6 ATS versus division opponents;
- Mavericks are 16-6 ATS on the road versus teams with a winning record, including 9-1 ATS in the second half of the season.
Pro Edge Sports Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-6.5) (-110)