NBA playoffs predictions 2014: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Spurs have lost in the first round as the top seed in the past. Can the Dallas Mavericks make it happen again?

The San Antonio Spurs were a merciless basketball machine throughout the regular season. As a result, they were rewarded with the top overall seed in the Western Conference and will have home court advantage throughout the postseason. After losing to the Memphis Grizzlies on the final night of the regular season, the Dallas Mavericks fell into the 8th seed in the Western Conference. Their reward for winning 49 games and having an elite offense all year long? Gregg Popovich's relentlessly awesome Spurs.

On paper, San Antonio is the best team in the NBA. They have an incredible defense and a surgical offense. They're a veteran team, and everybody on the roster had plenty of rest throughout the season. Amazingly, nobody in the Spurs' rotation averaged more than 30 minutes per game. Everybody expects the Spurs to win this series, but this is the Western Conference. There's no such thing as a first round bye when you have to go up against Rick Carlisle and Dirk Nowitzki. San Antonio is the heavy favorite, but don't be surprised if Dirk and company make them sweat.

The picks:


Paul Flannery Spurs in 5
Mike Prada Spurs in 4
Ricky O'Donnell Spurs in 6
Doug Eberhardt Spurs in 6
Tom Ziller Spurs in 5
Mavs Moneyball Spurs in 5
Pounding the Rock Spurs 4

My pick:

Dallas has had a very hard time with San Antonio recently, but these are two veteran teams with playoff experience. Rick Carlisle is one of the few coaches in the NBA that can stack up to Gregg Popovich. Dirk Nowitzki is the kind of big man that can cause problems for Tim Duncan on defense because of how he stretches the floor. All of that said, the Spurs are just too damn good to lose this series. Spurs in 6.

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