Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Dallas at San Antonio; Spurs lead the series, 3-2

The Spurs and Mavericks just play to a point where I don't think home court matters. All signs should point to San Antonio ending this series tonight, but I have so much respect for Dallas' personnel that I can't help but call this another coin flip.

Caron Butler might be the linchpin, the thing that sets Dallas over the edge, but I don't think he's much to bank on. A good chunk of the 35 points he put up on Tuesday came in early offense, on long two-point jumpers. Those aren't always going to go in, and San Antonio likely won't lose him as much on the break. He won't surprise anyone.

But San Antonio will have its own offensive issues to try and work through. When they win, it's because George Hill and Tony Parker are hitting shots, those long two-pointers. Tim Duncan can go 1-9, and they can still win.

Speaking of Duncan, yes, he's missed 14 of his last 18 shots from the floor. And he hit 34 of his first 57 shots in this series. I'm not worried about him.

Should be a great game. Mavs and Spurs = "great game." Breakthrough analysis, that.

***

Phoenix at Portland; Phoenix leads the series, 3-2

This is hard to put a finger on. Can you really pen Brandon Roy in for a competent game, considering what he's going through physically?

Can the Blazers finally go big, and take it to the Suns? Will Phoenix take it easy, knowing it has a Game 7 at home waiting for it this weekend?

As good as the Suns are, and as banged-up as the Blazers are, a lot still has to go right for Phoenix to pull out the win. And while they're more than capable of ending this tonight, having everyone on the same page in terms of defense, intensity, and defensive intensity is no small feat.

That's not just me goofing around with words, because Channing Frye and Jason Richardson have to bring it offensively. Have to. It's expected of them now, and Phoenix doesn't win if they don't show up.

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