Spurs road trip begins with difficult contest against Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12: Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 12: Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks. (Photo by Sean Berry/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The San Antonio Spurs are on the road again. Their four-game stretch away from home begins tonight against the Dallas Mavericks.

Seasonal affective disorder is a very real thing. Days get shorter, temperatures drop, and you’re left feeling stuck in a rut that you can’t seem to get out of until spring. This nasty bout of winter blues can be compounded by your favorite team going on a five-game losing streak. The San Antonio Spurs have struggled lately and their upcoming road trip will make breaking this streak even harder.

San Antonio has won one of their five road games so far this season and play their next four games away from the comfort of home. Their short road trip gets started tonight as they face on of their Lone Star state rivals, the Dallas Mavericks.

After trading for Kristaps Porzingis last year, expectations were high for this Mavericks team. So far they’ve lived up to the hype. Luka Doncic has been playing close to an MVP level and has quickly developed chemistry with Porzingis. The two create matchup problems for whoever they face.

The matchup of the night is between Doncic and Dejounte Murray. Doncic was one of the most accomplished prospects in NBA history when the Mavericks acquired him last year. He’s followed up his Rookie of the Year campaign with a dominant Sophmore season that has launched him into the discussion for one of the top-five players in the league. He’s averaging 28.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 9.1 assists per game this year on 47 percent shooting from the floor. Those are LeBron James type numbers.

Dejounte will have his hands full tonight. Doncic is one of the rare superstars who can greatly impact the game even when he’s not shooting well. His most recent game against the Toronto Raptors is a perfect example of this. Even though he connected on just 36 percent of his shots he was still able to push Dallas to a win through rebounding well and forcing his way to the free-throw line.

Speaking of free throws, DeMar DeRozan had some pretty harsh criticism for the referees after the Spurs’ most recent loss to the Trail Blazers. Taking acting classes probably won’t help DeRozan and the Spurs in the long term but maybe it’s something to consider. If anything this frustration will motivate DeRozan to come out even more aggressive than usual tonight.

Sustained effort and focus on scoring the ball from DeRozan will go a long way for San Antonio in this one. They’re a better team when he’s looking for his own shot. There are other players on the team who can pick up the playmaking responsibilities but few who can create open looks as he can. The Spurs need him to be a scorer first and foremost and a passer second.

Related Story. Two San Antonio Spurs who need to step up after the first month

Gameday bets and prediction

Spread: Dallas -4.5

Over/Under: 225

Player prop bets: None available.

All betting information courtesy of The Action Network.

It hurts to write this but the Spurs losing streak probably continues tonight. Both teams are coming into tonight on some extra rest and should be at full strength. Doncic is just too much for the Spurs to handle when he’s playing at the level that he has been. This losing streak has been demoralizing for San Antonio but it seems as if it may continue.

It’s kind of a no brainer statement but San Antonio needs to put together 48 minutes of solid basketball. They’ve had stretches where they’ve played at an elite level but they’re few and far between. Too often we have seen this team come out cold or sputter in clutch moments. If they come out flat their chances of winning tonight are slim and this losing streak will continue.

Facilitating a DeMar DeRozan trade between the San Antonio Spurs and Orlando Magic. Related Story

It’s going to be a tough road trip with games against the Washington Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers coming up after this. There’s always the game on Saturday against the New York Knicks to look forward to but even that might not be locked in win given how this team has been playing. Dallas and San Antonio tip-off at 7:30 tonight from the American Airlines Center in Dallas.