The San Antonio Spurs are coming off one of the best NBA seasons in history. Undefeated at home, the Spurs accomplishments have been somewhat overshadowed by the superfreak show that is the Golden State Warriors, who have befuddled and belittled opponents all season. The Spurs have been happy to play out of the spotlight, perfecting their craft and chemistry for a deep playoff run. And for, let’s face it, maybe a parting gift for Tim Duncan who’d rather slip away with another ring during the offseason than endure a Kobe Bryant style farewell.
But the Spurs may be matched up against the cross-state rival Dallas Mavericks — and San Antonio realizes they would be in for a legit Texas two-step with the 7-seed. The Mavs are a tough team with a strong culture, allowing them to sometimes punch above their weight. Two years ago this first round matchup was the hardest the Spurs faced on their way to the 2014 NBA Championship. The then 8-seed Mavs pushed the Spurs to seven games, making the Spurs look vulnerable (which it turns out they weren’t.) The Mavs may not be quite as competitive this time, hobbled by injuries, but they will show up and play good basketball. The Mavs have won six in a row.