ESPNDallas.com will break down the matchups in the Mavericks-Spurs series throughout the day.
JEFF CAPLAN: Here's the great debate every year with the Spurs: Is Tim Duncan a power forward or center? If you're talking All-Star Game, he's a forward. If you're talking style of play, he's a center. But, since he clearly prefers being called a power forward, let's just go with it and match him up with Dirk Nowitzki. These two have locked horns from time to time, but they certainly won't go at each other exclusively. Mavs centers Erick Dampier and Brendan Haywood will see lots of Duncan and Spurs centers-forwards Antonio McDyess and Matt Bonner will have to try to defend Nowitzki. Duncan remains one of the best low-post players in the league and he can still have his way against the Mavs in almost any given game. But, Nowitzki loves to play the Spurs. The Mavs can throw more big bodies at Duncan to bump him around then the Spurs can stick difference-making defenders on Nowitzki. There's no Bruce Bowen bear hugs any more. Both players can dominate, but Nowitzki can do it in every game with 30 points where Duncan will be more likely to pick his spots. Nowitzki gets the thumbs up here. EDGE: Dallas
TIM MACMAHON: Duncan is a center, as far as the matchups are concerned. Dirk is a surefire Hall of Fame power forward with a history of putting up huge playoff numbers. Antonio McDyess is a savvy veteran who is overmatched here, as is Matt Bonner. This one doesn’t require much analysis. EDGE: Dallas
JEFF “SKIN” WADE: Dirk Nowitzki has always killed the Spurs and this season has been no different. He’s dropped a shade under 29 a game on them and I suspect that’ll go up in this series just like it did against Denver last year. Though I think Matt Bonner is a little underrated and I’ve always been a fan of Antonio McDyess, this is not even close. This is devastation. This is Blitzkrieg. Sorry for going German there. I’m not proud of it, but I did it. EDGE: Dallas
MAVS 3, SPURS 0