Dec 30, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter (25) and center Chris Kaman (35) guards San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight the San Antonio Spurs return home after the trip to Minnesota to host their I-35 rival the Dallas Mavericks. Couple of things here that the Spurs are looking for. One is to notch another 50 win season, I believe this will be their 14th straight and also to sweep the season series with the Mavericks.
The last time these two teams met was back in January where the Spurs won 113 to 107. In that game DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal paced the bench with a combined 40 points. Blair added 22 points and 4 rebounds while Neal pitched in with 18 (2-of-3 beyond the arc). Tony Parker (still out with an injury) paced San Antonio with a double-double, 23 points and 10 assists.
San Antonio’s last game against the Timberwolves was one that didn’t really phase the team at all. We were without a few guys, TP, TD, and High Fly Kawhi. Though that is not any excuse for us to use, we just could not hit any shots and the Timberwolves, well hit everything. That is done and over with and now we turn our attentions to the Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks.
As for the Dallas Mavericks, they are coming off of a 115 to 108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, March 12th. Vince Carter scored a team high 23 points, this coming off of the bench.
Earlier today Jeff McDonald from the San Antonio Express News sent out this tweet:
Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard are available for tonight’s game against Dallas. Go ahead and pencil them into the Spurs’ starting five.
— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) March 14, 2013
Another note, this game will be televised Nationally on TNT at 7:00 PM CST (Spurs Time). With that said, let’s look at the starting five as well as who has the edge! Let’s Go!
Point GuardsCorey Joseph (SAS) vs Mike James (DAL)
This will be the first time that Joseph will be suiting up against the Dallas Mavericks this season as he was on assignment for the pass three games these two have met up. In his last outing against Minnesota, Joseph scored 15 points in 25 minutes. Mike James is coming off of a 13 point performance against Milwaukee. This should be an average match-up but I look for Joseph to use his youth against the elder in James.
Edge: San Antonio
Shooting GuardsDanny Green (SAS) vs O.J. Mayo (DAL)
One of the match-ups that I want to see. Mayo is a scorer. He was like this when he was in college and in the NBA it is no different. He looks to score before finding teammates. Danny Green on the other hand is shooting the ball more and also being more aggressive. He needs to take care of the ball against Mayo as he does have some quick hands and will rip it away from you if you are not prepared. I look for Green to have a good outing against Mayo.
Edge: San Antonio
Small ForwardsKawhi Leonard (SAS) vs Jae Crowder (DAL)
Leonard is coming off of sitting out one game with soreness in his left knee. It had to be because of what he did against the Okahoma City and Kendrick Perkins on Monday. As you saw above, he is active and will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Mavericks. He will have a huge impact on this game. Crowder is a physical player and will look to be against Leonard who is the Spurs top defender.
Edge: San Antonio
Power ForwardsTim Duncan (SAS) vs Dirk Nowitzki (DAL)
Jan 25, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) shoots against the San Antonio Spurs at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Duncan also didn’t make the trip to Minnesota on Tuesday. He also will be active and in the starting lineup being pitted against Dirk Nowitzki. Duncan has looked to of gotten his step back from previous seasons as he is in fact playing one of if not the best he has in a few season. We all know that Dirk Nowitzki is Dallas’ go to guy, he is their best player and he can score. He is seven foot and can shoot the three. Duncan will look to keep him honest on the outside and possibly get him to drive in where he can get some help from Splitter and others.
CentersTiago Splitter (SAS) vs Chris Kaman (DAL)
Splitter is growing and becoming the type of player that Spurs fans were hoping for. He can finish around the rim and does a good job on the defensive end. I know I give him a hard time for not flushing it but he is doing what he does for a reason. Shield off the defender with the rim so that he can’t block his shots. Kaman is a physical player down low and I look to see some banging down there between these two. Splitter will have to hold his own down on the block and not let Kaman push him around.
As we have seen all year long, San Antonio bench is what sparks the team and can score within seconds. Manu Ginobili who had a horrible night shooting against the Timberwolves (2-of-10 shooting) will look to improve on that game. Patty Mills, Stephen Jackson, and Boris Diaw will also look to put their stamp on this game. Mills has been shooting the ball really well and I can see him to continue his streak tonight. Vince Carter is one to watch coming off of the Mavericks bench. Though he is one of the older players on the team, Carter showed against the Bucks that he can score still.
Edge: San Antonio
Broadcast InformationTelevision: TNTTime: 7:00 PM CST (Spurs Time)Radio: 1200 WOAI (Local)