By John Schuhmann, NBA.com
VIDEO: The Starters preview the Mavericks-Spurs series
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Spurs-Mavericks is the enjoy-it-while-it-lasts series. For the sixth time in their Hall-of-Fame careers, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki will face off in the playoffs. They’ve been representing the same teams for 17 and 16 years respectively.
The Spurs have won four of the five previous meetings and are the favorites to advance again this year. San Antonio registered the league’s best record, was the only team to rank in the top six in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and swept the season series, 4-0.
Here are some statistical nuggets regarding the No. 1 and 8 seeds in the Western Conference, as well as the four regular-season games they played against each other.
San Antonio Spurs (62-20)
Pace: 97.1 (12)
OffRtg: 108.2 (6)
DefRtg: 100.1 (4)
NetRtg: +8.1 (1)
- For the second straight season, the Spurs’ starting lineup was the best defensive lineup among those that played at least 200 minutes together, allowing just 87.5 points per 100 possessions.
- Led the league in clutch-time offensive efficiency, scoring 123.5 points per 100 possessions with a score differential of five points or less in the last five minute of the fourth quarter or overtime. Tony Parker (64.1 percent) and Tim Duncan (61.3 percent) ranked second and third in clutch-time field goal percentage among players who attempted at least 25 clutch-time shots.
- Among players with at least 500 field goal attempts each of the last two seasons, Marco Belinelli was the most improved shooter in the league, with an effective field goal percentage of 57.6 percent, up from 46.0 percent last season.
- Among players who attempted at least 300 shots before the All-Star break and 200 after it, Boris Diaw‘s effective field goal percentage dropped the most, from 59.6 percent before the break and 49.5 percent after it.
Dallas Mavericks (49-33)
Pace: 95.7 (17)
OffRtg: 109.0 (3)
DefRtg: 105.9 (22)
NetRtg: +3.0 (11)
- Worst defensive team among those that made the playoffs.
- Best jump-shooting team in the league, the only one with an effective field goal percentage of better than 50 percent from outside the paint.
- Brandan Wright shot 79.0 percent in the restricted area, the highest mark among players who attempted at least 100 shots there.
- Monta Ellis led the league with 827 total drives.
- Danny Green (12-for-20) and Patty Mills (11-for-23) combined to shoot 23-for-43 (53 percent) in four games against the Mavs. Green was a plus-57 in 103 minutes.
- For the season, Dirk Nowitzki averaged 2.4 3-pointers per 48 minutes. He made just one three in 128 minutes against the Spurs. Nowitzki and Ellis combined to shoot just 2-for-13 from 3-point range in the four meetings.
- In the last meeting (April 10), Dallas was a plus 22 in 27 minutes with Devin Harris on the floor and a minus-29 in 21 minutes with Harris on the bench. Harris only played in the final two meetings.
- Jose Calderon shot 4-for-19 when being defended by Parker.
- See more exclusive SportVU matchup data here.