Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Mavericks vs the Spurs.
Where: Game 1 – AT&T Center, San Antonio.
When: Sunday April 20, 18:00 BST
Watch live: Click here to watch on Bet365!
The San Antonio Spurs bounced back from last year’s heartbreak with a 62-20 regular season record, and now they start the playoff push against the Dallas Mavericks.
Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker are back to lead the charge but as has been the case under coach Gregg Popovich for a number of years, their system sees various other individuals on the roster flourish alongside them.
Having seen a championship slip out of their grasp last year, they are undoubtedly intent on righting the wrongs of last season, but they will have to be wary of a Mavericks team still boasting one of the league’s most enduring threats.
Dirk Nowitzki has averaged 21.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and is shooting 49.7 percent from the field as he helped lead Dallas back into the playoffs this year.
Naturally, the opportunity to see him do battle with Duncan again, which will arguably be one of the last series they will do so, is an attractive draw, but the Mavs will have to find a way to stop San Antonio across the roster.
Popovich has rested key players throughout the year in a bid to ensure his veterans in particular are healthy for this time of the season, and having won nine straight games against their in-state rivals, they will be confident of their chances of progressing.
However, they will undoubtedly need to guard against complacency as along with Nowitzki the Mavs have veterans capable of doing a job as well as Monta Ellis who could influence the game if he finds his rhythm.
Nevertheless, the Spurs are huge favourites to advance, and with Parker penetrating to the basket as well as finding open teammates from the three-point line, the Spurs should have enough to get rolling.