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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Staff Predictions

by Greg Higgins on April 19, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


By now, more than likely, you’ve had a chance to read the articles breaking down the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs first round playoff series (including ours). We’ve given you the breakdown, now let’s tell you what our writers think will happen during the series. Here’s our predictions:


What a difference one loss makes huh? The Mavericks were so close to locking up the 7th seed and having a better matchup with Oklahoma City. Now, all odds will be against them. I would love to say the Mavericks could pull off the impossible, but then I really wouldn’t be living in reality.

Yes, the Mavericks have the Hall of Fame Legend in Dirk Nowitzki and a great sidekick in Monta Ellis, but the Spurs can hurt you from a plethora of different angles. They had the best record in the NBA this season, and did it without a scorer averaging more than 20 points per game. What that says is that they can lean on many different players on any given night.

Guys like Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, and Marco Bellinelli have provided sparks all season for this club, and they still have the usual savvy veterans in Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.

The Mavericks will have to lean heavily on Nowitzki and Ellis in order to even have a shot, but that is not where the problem lies. The Mavericks have lacked a true legit center all season long, and the problem is beginning to cause some real concern. If the Mavericks were to have a shot at taking down the Spurs, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, and Brandan Wright would have to show up on a consistent nightly basis. Since that really hasn’t been the case all season, it’s hard for me to give the Mavericks any possibility of the huge upset.

While it would be fun to think of the Mavericks reversing the 1-seed vs 8-seed curse that haunted them back in the 2006-2007 season, I would be coming off as a true homer, which is something even I can’t do.

Prediction: Spurs in 5



The Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies fighting NOT to play the San Antonio Spurs said plenty on Wednesday night.

Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan go head-to-head in their teams’ sixth meeting in the postseason. The difference remains that Duncan has had the same coach and a familiar core around him for most of the Texas playoff tussles.

Rick Carlisle is among the best coaches in the NBA, but he gets trumped by the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich. Carlisle possesses the most recent Larry O’Brien trophy by a Texas squad, but Pop still has four to his name.

It’s no secret the Mavericks have struggled against the Spurs lately, losers of nine consecutive matchups. San Antonio has been dominant over the stretch with an average margin of victory in double figures.

Hard to envision the Spurs dropping four games to their Texas rival this series, but Dallas will fight. The Mavericks veteran team still has plenty of pride and experience. Unfortunately, it comes against a team with the same strengths but in a more bolstered version.

Prediction: Spurs win in 5



Thanks to a heartbreaking 1-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavs prepare themselves for a dogfight 1st round series against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. I’m sure the sports world thinks the Spurs would win in an easy sweep, but as a fan I disagree.

This year’s Mavericks team has been on a roller coaster ride for the season. But if it’s one thing I’ve learned about this squad it is that the Mavs play their best basketball when their backs are against the wall. Take for account the Monta Ellis game-winner in Portland, or Dirk’s game-winner in the historic Madison Square Garden. Remember when the Mavs coming back from a 15+ point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets at home?

The Mavs have one thing: HEART. These guys can make some noise in the playoffs if they give 100% every single game, every single minute.

I think the Mavs can win this series. If not, I know for sure that they can give the Spurs a run for their money.

Prediction: Mavs win in 6 games. GO MAVS.



I really do hate writing this but the way I write is totally unbiased. Although I love the Mavericks with everything I have I must type the facts. The facts are the Mavs cannot guard three point shooters. They are slow to rotate and ball movement is one of their greatest weaknesses.

The Spurs do not beat you with one superstar, they play methodical, almost surgeon like and together as a team will beat you down. I’ve seen it all year, Tony Parker penetrates the lane, kicks it out to one of their many guards who then swings it to a wide open Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobli or Patty Mills. All of which are absolutely deadly from three.

If I could pick a team designed to destroy the Mavericks it is the Spurs. Notice I haven’t even mentioned the annoying Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter down low.

With all of this death and destruction I will give you one sliver of hope. We have Dirk, and we have Monta Ellis. The two-man game will have to be perfect to give us a chance. We have to play the best defense this squad has ever played and get some easy fast break buckets.

Prediction: With all of this said I’ve got the Spurs in 5.  Man I hate to say that.



I’ve been saying it for a month now, “We have to avoid the Spurs in the first round at all cost.” Unfortunately for the Mavs, they did not do this. This is a nightmare matchup for the Mavs because of the inability to defend the paint and the rotation defense on three-point shooting has been terrible all season.

The Spurs have defeated the Mavericks nine straight times. Because of this, I do not think this will be a sweep for San Antonio. I mean, you can’t beat the Mavs 13 straight games, can you? I hope not.

One thing I like is the way Monta Ellis plays in the fourth quarter of games. Against Memphis on Wednesday, he had four points through the first three quarters. He scored 14 in the fourth quarter and overtime of that game. With him and Dirk Nowitzki, I like the Mavs to at least win a game or two. I do think, however, the Spurs will be too much in the end.

Prediction: Spurs in 6


Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins; Jeff Gross/Getty Images; Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports; AP Photo/Eric Gay; Derick Hingle USA TODAY Sports

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Mavs vs. Spurs Playoff Preview – Who Holds the Edge?

by Greg Higgins on April 18, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


After a grueling 82 game season, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves back in the postseason after taking last year off. Dallas finished out the regular season with a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. The loss put the Mavs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. Of course being the No. 8 seed does give the Mavs the unenviable position of having to play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Dallas fans are all aware of the upset factor involved with a No. 8 seed taking out a No. 1 seed. In 2007, the Mavs finished the regular season with an astounding 67-15 record only to be ousted in the first round by the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The Spurs are aware of this as well as they were knocked out of the playoffs in 2011 by the No. 8 seeded Memphis Grizzlies. Although it has happened twice in recent memory, it is a very unlikely scenario. Only five No. 8 seeds have ever knocked off a No. 1 seed.

The first time this happened was in 1994 when the Denver Nuggets knocked off the Seattle Supersonics. The famous image of Dikembe Mutombo lying on the floor in Seattle holding the ball up above his head is forever engrained in our minds.

Of course that was back when the first round series was the best of five. What about today? Do the Mavericks have a realistic shot at defeating the Spurs? Obviously, anything can happen in the series. Someone from either team could go down with an injury or perhaps a player has a terrible shooting night. All of these things could have a positive or negative effect on the series depending on which side you’re cheering for.

These two teams have played each other four times this season, and the Spurs have won all four matchups. San Antonio has defeated the Mavs nine straight times all together.  In the four games this year, the Spurs have averaged over 112 points per game while Dallas has been just under 101 points per game.

Who has the edge in the different areas? Let’s find out:


When it comes to playing like a team, does anyone in the four major sports do it better than the San Antonio Spurs? They’ve been a model of consistency since the late 90’s when they won their first title. This year has been no different, either. San Antonio finished with the best record in the NBA at 62-20.

The Mavs, on the other hand, have been trying to find their identity this year. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion are the only players remaining from the championship team, so Rick Carlisle is having to teach new people his style and get them to buy into that system. They made the playoffs but it was a cat fight all the way down the stretch. This could potentially help the Mavs because they have been playing playoff basketball for a month now.

Advantage: San Antonio


This one is hard to breakdown. Gregg Popovich is one of, if not the best coach in all four major sports. He’s the ultimate chess master when it comes to playing the game and coaching. He’s been known to rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli in the same game to save them for the playoffs.

However, Rick Carlisle showed the entire world how great of a coach he is when he took Dirk and a bunch of dudes in 2011 to the championship. He was able to move people around so that they took down Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James on their way to their first title.

If Pop is 1, Carlisle is 1A in my opinion. However, the advantage still goes to Pop because he’s done it more times than Carlisle has.

Advantage: San Antonio (by the slightest of margins)


There’s something to be said about the superstar player for each of these teams. Tim Duncan will probably go down as the best power forward of all time while Dirk will probably finish in the top six in NBA scoring when his career is done. Duncan averaged 15.1 points per game this season while Dirk put in 21.6 for the Mavs. Duncan’s fundamentals are precise while Dirk can hit his one-legged fade away over anyone. Right now, for this series though, give me the big German.

Advantage: Dallas


They say defense wins championships and you don’t have to look any further than 2011 to know that’s true. Dallas had amazing records and could score at ease through the Don Nelson/Avery Johnson years. However, it wasn’t until they got someone like Tyson Chandler down low defensively that the Mavs went on to win a title.

The Spurs have won and continue to win based on this motto. Among the starting lineups that played at least 200 minutes together, the Spurs’ starters were the best defensively.

The Mavs are the worst defensive team among those that made the playoffs. The Mavs rely on help defenders and they haven’t gotten a lot of that this season. If they hope to beat the Spurs, they have to get better in this area and they have to do it quick.

Advantage: San Antonio

Photo Credit: Jerome Miron – USA Today Sports; AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall In Overtime; Will Face Spurs In Round 1

by Greg Higgins on April 17, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up Mavs Drop Rough One

For the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies, the playoffs started a game earlier than the rest of the NBA. Both teams came into the final regular season tied at 49-32.  The winner gets the seventh seed in the playoffs; which means avoiding the San Antonio Spurs in round one of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the seventh seed wasn’t meant to be for them as they fell 106-105 in overtime.

How It Went Down: 

It was a close game the entire way. For a brief period in the first quarter, the Grizzlies had a 10-point lead over Dallas. Other then that, though, the Mavs and Grizzlies battled back and forth for the seventh seed.

The same thing that has bothered Dallas all year, though, reared its ugly head. The Mavs had a hard time with interior defense and help in the weak side defense down low. Memphis had 58 points in the paint.  Memphis also had 20 offensive rebounds for 19-second chance points.

Dallas, trailing by two after three quarter would rely on Monta Ellis to do what he’s done all season long. Monta, who only had four points in the first three quarters, scored 14 points between the fourth quarter and overtime. His biggest shot came with 13 seconds left in the game and the Mavs trailing by three points. Monta hit a three-pointer to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime.

MavsGrizzIn overtime, the Mavs had a chance to put the game away. Dirk Nowitzki hit a three-pointer to put Dallas up 105-102 with 46 seconds left, Mike Conley missed a three-pointer that would tie the game. However, three Dallas players couldn’t secure the rebound as Tony Allen got the offensive board and put back to cut the deficit to one. Monta dribbled the clock down as much as he could but missed on a jump shot with just under seven seconds left in the game. Mike Conley took the rebound and drove the length of the floor in and drew a foul by Vince Carter as he was trying to shoot. He calmly sank both free throws to put Memphis up by one with 1.1 seconds left. Monta’s jumper from 20’ out clanked off the back iron and Memphis celebrated the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.



Inside the Numbers:

Dallas made the eighth seed in the playoffs but how high could they have gone? Dallas lost five games in which they held at least a 17-point lead in the game..

There were 15 lead changes and 16 ties in the game.

Impact Play of the Game: 

With 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis calmly knocked down a three pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Monta scored seven points in the fourth and another seven in the overtime period. Despite losing the game, Monta keeps proving himself as a player that can be relied upon during the stretch run of games.





On Deck:

Dallas will play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1: Sunday April 20 @ 12:00 in San Antonio

Game 2: Wednesday April 23 @ 7:00 in San Antonio

Game 3: Saturday April 26 @ 3:30 in Dallas

Game 4: Monday April 28 @ 8:30 in Dallas

Photo Credit: Lance Murphey, AP


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Mavs Need Win To Avoid Nightmare Matchup With Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The term “fighting for your playoff lives” takes on a new perspective tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Memphis Grizzlies in what seems like a must-win game. The teams each sit at 49-32 and have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference thanks to both teams defeating the Phoenix Suns in each of their last games.

With both teams already in the playoffs, who would have thought game 82 would have such an impact, though? The winner of this game will have the seventh seed in the playoffs while the loser will have the eighth seed.

“What’s the difference?” you might be asking yourself.

There’s a big difference. The no. 8 seed has the daunting task of having to deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The seventh seed will have to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder.


San Antonio Spurs v Dallas MavericksThe Spurs have locked down the top seed but the No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. If the Clippers win and the Thunder lose on Wednesday night, LA will have that second seed. Otherwise OKC will have the advantage.

What does this mean for the Mavs? Dallas has lost nine straight to the Spurs. This year, the Mavs took the season series with the Thunder 2-1 and lost the series with the Clippers 3-1. However, the games against the Clippers were some of the most exciting games this season. The total points’ separating the teams in the four games was 21 total points. In the three games Dallas lost to LA, the Mavs held a double-digit lead at some point during the game.

I don’t know if they can beat the Clippers or Thunder in a seven-game series, but I like that matchup way better than I do the Spurs. So I repeat, “The Mavs are fighting for their playoff lives in Memphis tonight.”


Photo Credit: CBS-DFW

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A Waiting Game For the Mavericks

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to have played 81 games when Saturday night concluded.

A playoff berth was clinched, but the seeding remains undetermined.

What we do know is that after the loss by Golden State in Portland and a Memphis win in Los Angeles, the Mavericks can land anywhere from 6th to 8th.

6th Seed – To steal the 6-spot, Dallas would need the Warriors to loss their last two games and win its last in Memphis. Likely opponent in first round – Los Angeles Clippers.

7th Seed – Either Memphis loss in its last two (@PHX & vs DAL) or Dallas win at Memphis. Likely opponent – Oklahoma City Thunder.

8th Seed – In order to land here the Mavericks would have to lose to Memphis and the Grizzlies win its final two. First round – San Antonio Spurs.

Since the Mavs don’t play until the last day of the regular season, it becomes a wait and see approach.


The Phoenix Suns host the Grizzlies tonight. A Memphis victory would eliminate the Suns from playoff contention. If the Suns win, it would come down to the last night with Memphis holding the tiebreaker. Dallas would be guaranteed 7th with a Phoenix win.

Golden State returns home and welcome in the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday evening. Stephen Curry scored his season-high 47 points in the overtime loss last night. A Warriors win against the Wolves would end Dallas’ chances for 6th.

Dallas controls its own destiny. They may get help before Wednesday night, but for now Monday and Tuesday will be a waiting game.


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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall to NBA-Best Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 11, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


In a game in which the Dallas Mavericks (48-32) really needed to win to help their playoff chances, the San Antonio Spurs (61-18) showed why they are the top seed in the Western Conference. For the second straight year, the Spurs have swept the season series with the Mavs after a 109-100 victory Thursday night.

How it went down:

Dallas didn’t get off to a great start in the first quarter and it didn’t help that Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard finished that quarter 4-7 from the three-point line. Trailing by eight after one period, the Mavs would get a much-needed lift from their superstar. Dirk Nowtizki, who was scoreless in the first period, poured in 12 during the second quarter as he help give the Mavs a two-point lead at the break.

The second half was a different story, though. Dallas could not keep the Spurs off the glass and they couldn’t defend the three-point line. Dallas was out-rebounded 27-19 in the second half, including 10-4 on the offensive glass. San Antonio also hit nine of the 19 three-pointers they made in the second half.

Patty Mills, who started in place for the injured Tony Parker, finished with a game-high 26 points on 9-25 shooting, including 6-11 from three-point range. Leonard finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds, including six offensive rebounds.

The loss doesn’t move the Mavs out of the playoffs, however, they are now in the eighth spot with two games remaining. The Suns, who currently own the seventh seed, will play the Spurs Friday night before visiting the Mavs for a crucial game Saturday night. Dallas needs to avoid playing the Spurs in the playoffs at all cost. In order for this to happen, Dallas needs to finish in the seventh seed or higher. The loss to the Spurs made this a little more difficult.

Inside the Numbers:

San Antonio has now defeated the Mavs nine straight times.

The Spurs became the 13th team in NBA history to win at least 30 road games in a season.

Impact Play of the Game:

With 1:17 left in the game, Jose Calderon hit a three pointer to bring the Mavs within six points. Just a minute and a half earlier it was a 14-point lead for the Spurs. After the 8-0 run, though, Leonard calmly sinks a three pointer to put the Spurs back up by nine and the game out of reach.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Once again, Monta Ellis tried to do what he could to get the win for the Mavs. Monta finished with 24 points, with 12 of them coming in the final quarter. Monta also had four rebounds and four assists.




On Deck:

The Mavs will play their final home game of the regular season Saturday night as they face the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs and Suns are playing for their playoff lives and both will want to win this game. Tip is at 7:30 on NBATV/TXA 21. If you’re coming to the game, be prepared for a playoff-style atmosphere.


Photo: AP Photo/LM Otero & AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez; Quote Via Earl K. Sneed/Mavs.Com

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MGN: Will Dallas Bring Its Road Cooking Home?

by Terence Huie on April 10, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The Dallas Mavericks (48-31) look to keep their 7th seed berth chances alive with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies breathing down their neck. But Dallas faces another bump in the road to the playoffs as they defend home court against the division rival San Antonio Spurs (60-18).

The Game at Hand:

The Spurs currently hold the top seed in the Western Conference, clinching fourth straight Southwest division title and 17th consecutive playoff appearance. A win against Dallas would help keep their first seed with the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing just three games back in the standings.

Tonight is a must-win game for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs couldn’t get help from the Miami Heat or New Orleans Pelicans last night, as those teams failed to win against the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns respectively. Coming into Thursday night, the Mavericks have on momentum on their side thanks to winning four straight games on their 4-game road trip. Tonight will be a true test for Dirk Nowitzki and the 7th seeded Mavericks.

Keys to the Game:

1. Force Turnovers: 

San Antonio is a team full of countless veterans and a great coach in Gregg Popovich. This team has been successful for so many years because of their limit of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball. The Spurs are ranked first in offensive efficiency this season. Dallas has to come out and play their best defense of the season and force turnovers. There is no room for error when facing a team like the Spurs.

2. Offensive Contribution: 

Looking at the previous Mavs-Spurs matchup, Dallas came up short 106-112 against San Antonio. In that game, only three Mavs players finished with double figures in points; compared to six Spurs players finished in double figures. Every player in a Mavs’ jersey has to contribute the moment that guy steps on the floor tonight.

X-Factor of the Night:

Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Vince Carter has made a huge impact for the Mavs this season. The 15-year veteran may have lost his touch in the dunking department, but has put in a great deal of effort on the bench.

Carter averages 12 points a game, shooting 39% from behind the three-point line. Vince needs just 13 points to place himself 25th on the NBA All-Time Scoring List. Expect the 37-year old to put up monster numbers tonight to get that 25th spot and help the Mavs win tonight.


“I don’t know if it’s an advantage against a team like San Antonio. … It doesn’t matter who they’re missing.”

- Jose Calderon on Parker’s injury


“He’s such a great player. Nobody stops him, at least giving him a different look makes me feel better like I’m trying, like I’m doing something.”

- Gregg Popovich on game planning for Dirk


When and Where:

The big game starts tonight 7 p.m. CST in the American Airlines Center and will air on TNT.



Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (51-28) | Next 3 – @UTA, GSW & LAC

6. Golden State (48-29) | Next 3 –  DEN, @LAL & @POR

7. Dallas Mavericks (48-31) | Next 3 – SAS, PHO & @MEM

8. Phoenix Suns (47-31) | Next 3 – @SAS, @DAL & MEM

9. Memphis Grizzlies (46-32) | Next 3 – PHI, @LAL & @PHX




Photo Source: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports; Quotes from Earl K. Sneed &

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Wrap Up: Mavs Get A Feel For What 7th Seed Will Feel Like In Loss

by Terence Huie on March 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up Mavs Drop Rough One

The Dallas Mavericks could not walk out of AT&T Center with the victory, losing in a 112-106 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs.

Game At Hand:

San Antonio exhibit their offensive dominance in the first quarter, as they have all season. Tony Parker returned to the court after missing four games, scoring 12 points in the first period. The rest of the team helped Parker by outscoring the Mavs 14 to 8 in points in the paint.

Dallas had no answer for the Spurs 3-point shooters sinking wide-open jumpers, giving the home team a 10-point lead midway through the second quarter. The Mavs shot an uncomfortable 40% from the field and 38% from the free throw line. Vince Carter would not let his team fall apart that quickly in the game. Back-to-back three-pointers and a smooth reverse layup would produce a 14-6 Mavs run. Dallas ended the half trailing 47 to 48.

The Spurs tried to kill any momentum from the Mavs late in the thrid quarter. After the Spurs lead was trimmed to three, Manu answers with a 10 points in under two minutes to close out the quarter. By the fourth quarter, the Mavs could not gain ground and keep themselves in the game. Careless turnovers, easy missed jumpshots and layups, being outrebounded in the paint really put a crucial blow to Dallas’ comeback chances.

Inside The Numbers:

Free Throws were one crucial factor towards the Mavs losing this game. Dallas usually averages 80% from the free throw line, ranking top three in the league. The team shot a grueling 64% from the charity stripe vs the Spurs, compared to the Spurs 85% shooting from line.


“I thought Parker looked great again coming off a nice little 10-day break they can afford to give him, and he just comes in and looks great.” - Dirk Nowitzki


“He’s been an MVP candidate, really each of the last three, four, five years. Look, he’s that good and he was obviously fresh tonight. He hit shots that were the shots that were there. You’ve got to give him credit for that and we needed to be a little bit better on our coverages.” – Rick Carlisle


On Deck:

The Mavs start a two-day rest to rejuvenate after this two-game losing streak. The team flies up to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Wednesday night.


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Wrap Up: Mavs Get A Feeling of What 8 Seed Could Mean

by Greg Higgins on January 9, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks

Wednesday night the Dallas Mavericks (20-16) travelled down I-35 to face the San Antonio Spurs (28-8) on the second night of a back-to-back. Coming into the game, Dallas had a four-game road winning streak. This streak, however, would come to a crashing halt against the Spurs. San Antonio beat Dallas for the seventh consecutive time as they beat the Mavs 112-90.

How It Went Down: In order to understand this game, all you have to do is look at the numbers. For instance, Dallas never led in the game and there was only one tie (2-2) during the game. The largest lead in the game was 29 by the Spurs. San Antonio out-rebounded Dallas 55-32 for the game and 12-9 on the offensive glass. The Spurs shot a ridiculous 81.3% in the third quarter as they were 13-16 from the floor and two of their three misses were from beyond the three-point line. Tony Parker put in 14 points during the frame as he shot 6-6 from the field and went 2-2 at the free throw line. In the quarter, Dallas was outscored 37-24. The Spurs increased the lead in the third quarter to 23 as they scored 11 straight points during one stretch of the game.

Inside the Numbers: During the seven-game losing streak to the Spurs, Dirk Nowitzki has only averaged 14.4 points a game including only eight points Wednesday night. Dallas only had eight turnovers in the game as opposed to 17 for the Spurs. However, the Mavs only scored 18 points off those turnovers.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis It’s hard to pick a player as the step up Mav when they played so poor but Monta had a really good game. Ellis scored 21 points on 10-18 shooting. Only him and Vince Carter finished in double-digit scoring on the night.


“It is tough, especially against the Spurs. We have stunk it up against them the past two years. We completed with them one game last season; other than that, it’s been lopsided.” – Brandan Wright  

“The third quarter was a demolition. We got out competed.” – Rick Carlisle

On Deck: The Mavs will travel to New Orleans on Friday night for the first game of a home-and-home series with the Pelicans. Tipoff is at 7:00 Central and can b

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Mavs Game Night: Dallas Visits Rival San Antonio

by Terence Huie on January 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


Tonight is an intra-divisional showdown where the San Antonio Spurs (27-8) host the Dallas Mavericks (20-15). The Spurs hold first place in the Southwest Division and the Mavs are seven games back from the Spurs.

The Game At Hand:

The Mavs look to regain some ground after a 110-97 win against the Lakers on the previous night. The Spurs are still dominating the Western Conference, winning five of their last six games and averaging 112 points per game in that six-game span.

So far, the Spurs have a 1-0 season series record against the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Mavs on the road 116 to 107, thanks Spurs guard Danny Green’s 22 points and shooting 100% from the field.

Shawn Marion (shoulder) did not travel with the team to San Antonio. Jae Crowder and Vince Carter who had 19 off the bench last night will see extra minutes.

Keys To The Game:

1. Stop the Fundamentals:

Part of Greg Popovich’s success with coaching the Spurs is making his players play by the fundamentals. The Spurs are ranked first in the lead in the efficiency and commit the fewest turnovers in the league. The Mavs have to somehow force the Spurs to turn over the ball on defense.

2. Perimeter Shooting:

The Mavs struggled to guard the 3-point line in the previous game versus the Spurs this season. San Antonio shot about 44% from behind the arch. The Mavs should guard deadly shooters like Danny Green and Marco Belinelli aggressively. This will hopefully help prevent this game from getting away from Dallas.

Matchup Of The Night: Dirk Nowitzki vs. Tim Duncan

When the Mavs and Spurs meet it’s always treats those watching to a Dirk vs Timmy battle at the power forward position.

The way each embraces the position couldn’t be more different. While Dirk revolutionized the “4″ spot with his ability to stretch the floor and score in numerous ways, Duncan has remained steadfast in his fundamentals that have carved out one remarkable career including four championships.

Dirk acknowledged he believes Duncan may be the NBA’s greatest power forward ever. It’s hard to disagree with him, a guy who probably sits in the top 5 best PFs in NBA history himself.

When and Where:

Tip-off starts at 6:00pm CST and broadcasted on both ESPN and Fox Sports Southwest.


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