Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks

I'm the guy with the beard on the bottom left. DOWN IN FRONT, JESUS!!!!! Jesus!

San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks

The AT&T Center
Dec.21st, 6:00 Spurs Time




The San Antonio Spurs are 20-8 and have lost four of their last six games. Although they have struggled recently, they are only two games behind the Western Conference leading Oklahoma City Thunder. The Dallas Mavericks will enter San Antonio losers of five of their last six games, for a dangerously poor record of 12-15. The Mavericks are currently 12th in the Western Conference and Dirk Nowitzki's return cannot come soon enough for Dallas.

Oh, how the Mavericks have plummeted. It's been a joy to watch their downward spiral. Two short years ago, the Mavs won the championship. Since then, Mark Cuban has decided that his team is better off without Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, Jose Barea, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson and Caron Butler. His leadership has put Dallas back where they belong, well below San Antonio's status.

I hate Dallas. I hate the Mavericks. To me, Mark Cuban personifies the city of Dallas. He is egotistical, maniacal and narcissistic. Dallas deserves Mark Cuban just as much as Mark Cuban deserves Dallas. There are few things worse than attending a Spurs game while sitting next to a fan from Dallas. The stereotypical Mavs fan really does not care about the NBA. He/she has no interest in the league.

The Mavs fan is just like Mark Cuban. Narcissistic to the point that nothing else matters. All they care about is themselves. They do not root for the Mavericks because they care about the standings; they want the Mavs to win so that they can make everyone around them miserable. If you've been to a Mavs vs. Spurs game at the AT&T Center, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Mavs fans are at their happiest when Spurs fans are at their lowest.

Their fans are at best ignorant, and it drives me nuts. Mav's fans have ruined too many games for me with their ineptitude and their unfortunately good team. Well, no more. The Mavs now suck and Karma apparently does exist. Please add Dirk Nowitzki to the list of Dallas players that won the championship in 2011 and will not suit up against the Spurs tonight.

In addition to Dirk, the Mavs should be without Elton Brand and Darren Collison due to the injury (Karma) bug. While the lowly Mavs are struggling with injuries, the Spurs are now fully recovered. Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson and Manu Ginobili are back at Pop's disposal. The omniscient coach will look to get all three back in rhythm and as Spurs fans, we should expect a nice a little run in the near future.

I expect the Spurs to blow the Mavericks out Sunday night. The Mavericks rank 21st in the league in rebounds and 27th in points allowed. The Spurs rank 14th in the league in rebounds, 1st in assists and 3rd in points scored. Basically, rebounding should not hurt the Spurs and given Dallas' poor defense, the Spurs should run away with this one.

The Spurs are finally healthy and really need to figure out what kind of team they want to be. In this writer's opinion, the Spurs could develop into the league's best defensive team. Coach Gregg Popovich has recently shown his willingness to start his current version of the twin towers in Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan. Tony Parker is an intuitive defender that can limit mistakes. If one adds Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard to this starting five, you can't help but consider them as one of the best defensive starting lineups in the league.

I believe this team can be defensively elite as long as Pop starts Tiago Splitter. If you can't beat the best team, the Miami Heat, at their game of small ball with Lebron at the four, reset the circumstance. Make Lebron guard a confident Tiago Splitter in the post. Have Tiago throw a litany of pump fakes at Lebron to get him into foul trouble. Make the Heat uncomfortable.

In my opinion, this team could evolve into one of the best San Antonio Spurs defensive teams we have ever had the joy of watching. We just need the twin towers to protect the rim as well as Kawhi and ‘Big' Green defend the perimeter. Come on Pop, let's start this defensive dominance tonight against Mark Cuban's Pretty Ponies.

Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Danny Green
SF: Kawhi Leonard
PF: Tim Duncan
C: Tiago Splitter

Key Bench Players
Manu Ginobili
Gary Neal
Stephen Jackson
Boris Diaw

Lineups

Starters
PG: Rodrigue Beaubois
SG: Dahntay Jones
SF: OJ Mayo
PF: Shawn Marion
C: Chris Kaman

Key Bench Players
Vince Carter
Dominique Jones
Brandan Wright

As always, Tony must dominate Fisher, (unfortunately, Fisher broke his hip and is currently in a nursing home rehabbing, otherwise he would be dominated) and 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.

Game Prediction: Spurs by 18.

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