The Spurs had a big win against the Lakers on Tuesday. Let's start another win streak tonight against our Texas rivals, the Cubans.
Tonight's contest is on TNT, so I'm sure we'll get a dose of Sir Charles once again proclaiming the Mavs as the best team in Texas. Let's hope we get a repeat of the following after the game.
Now for the preview:
San Antonio Spurs @
Where: American Airlines Center
When: 12/30/2010, 8:30PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: FSSW, TNT
By the Numbers
PG: Tony needs to dominate Kidd like he dominated Fisher. The Mavs will pack the paint, so The Wee Frenchman will need to drive and dish to the plethora of Spurs' shooters. Kidd is shooting 3-pointers fairly well this year, so Tony needs to force him to shoot long 2s.
SG: A day of rest will probably pep up The Anomaly. He had a bad offensive game against the Lakers, but his defense on Kobe was stellar. Manu should bounce back. Stevenson's numbers have been so-so this season.
SF: Butler has fit in nicely at Dallas, providing some scoring punch. However, RJ has the better all-around game, fully exhibited in the Lakers' win. RAGE needs to concentrate on shutting down Butler on defense and continue his aggressive play at the rim.
PF: Dirk is still listed as day-to-day. He will be a tough matchup for Blair if he plays, even with a bum knee. DeBeast continued his offensive improvement against the Lakers, but will need to continue to show patience with Chandler patrolling the paint. If Dirk doesn't play, Marion should start in his place.
C: Timmeh had a really bad offensive game against the Lakers, but he wasn't needed. He played limutes and should be rested. Chandler has helped shore up both the Dallas defense and rebounding this year.
TheIf Dirk doesn't play, that shortens the bench for Carlisle and really limits the offense. George is back; the defense looks better. Neal and Bonner continue to shoot whenever open. Dice plays Dirk as well as anyone.
Carlisle has gotten the Mavs to really play defense, while still maintaining a potent offense. Pop has been brillian this season in managing the roster and throwing wrinkles into game plans.
Dallas busted a 12-game win streak that last time the teams played and always plays tough against the Spurs. The Spurs are coming off a huge win and have been otstanding on the road.
The Spurs are off to their best start in franchise history. The Mavs lost to Toronto, not good even without Dirk.
I'm trusting that the Spurs won't have a letdown. Even if Dirk doesn't play, this game won't be easy.
Key(s) to the Game
Turnovers - The Mavericks are middle of the pack in turnover rate. The Spurs need to continue their thieving ways, in order to start the fast break and get easy points. The Mavericks defense can't stop what it can't catch.
Offensive Passing - The Mavericks all-around defense has no glaring holes, so Tony and Manu are going to have to penetrate the defense and then look to kick out to the shooters. Ball movement needs to be crisp to provide open looks.
Mavs Moneyball (SB Nation)
Fox Sports Southwest (San Antonio), TNT
WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]
As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.
Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. You can also shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.