San Antonio Spurs News

Previewing the San Antonio Spurs Season Opener Versus Dallas

By George Middleton

The San Antonio Spurs kick off their season against their in state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs will be without a few key players (Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, and Patty Mills) due to injury.

The trio of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili will look to lead the Spurs to a victory in which should be a playoff atmosphere, despite being a season opener. Last season the Mavericks took the Spurs to seven games in the first round of the NBA Playoffs and appeared to be their toughest test.

The absence of Leonard will be difficult to overcome for the San Antonio Spurs, as he was likely going to guard versatile forward Chandler Parsons, who was acquired in free agency after playing for Houston last season. Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4 assists last season.

Parsons is one of the many weapons the Mavericks have, as Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki are two of the better offensive weapons in the NBA. The Spurs will have to slow down the trio if they want to have any shot at winning. The Mavericks were eight in the league in scoring (104.8), and are looking to raise that number with the additions of Parsons, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jameer Nelson, and Richard Jefferson.

The Spurs on the other hand kept every piece from last season’s title team and added rookie Kyle Anderson. Anderson might have a role early in the season, with the injury to Leonard. Anderson is a terrific ball handler and passer at 6″9. Something to monitor is the play of Ginobili. Ginobili shot 20% from the field in preseason, while averaging 3.8 turnovers. It’s difficult to say if age is catching up to Ginobili or if it’s the leg injury he suffered a few months back.

Boris Diaw will be a key for the Spurs if they want to win. If Diaw draws the start (Splitter out), he will likely be asked to guard Nowitzki. Despite being 36 years old, Nowitzki showed that he’s still a premier big as he averaged 21.7 points last season. Parker should have a big game for the Spurs, as he will be going up against Jameer Nelson, who isn’t known as a defensive stopper.

Prediction: The San Antonio Spurs will feed Tim Duncan inside and Tony Parker will have a big night. Monta Ellis has a 25 point game and Dirk Nowitzki goes for 20. The home crowd will be a factor, therefore the Spurs will win by three in a wire to wire contest.

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