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Game Links: Mavericks at Spurs

The Spurs take out the Dallas Mavericks in a battle of epic proportions. OK, maybe not epic, but they are an In-State rival and currently a playoff team. That has to count for something, right?

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Shot Chart | GameTrax

Mavs: Mavs Moneyball

This is one train; I don’t mind getting off of.  I know Coach Pop can juggle, but this was becoming a bit much.

Can the Spurs catch the Thunder? That’s what Trevor Zickgraf of 48MOH is asking.  The 1st and 2nd Rounds may not matter, but it "would obviously have a big impact on a potential Western Conference Finals match up."

It’s always fun, hating on your In-State rival, but there is no question that Dirk Nowitzki respects our Spurs: "Whatever pick-and-roll coverage you decide to do, they have a million counters to it," said Nowitzki. "They’re a tough team to defend." – Via Project Spurs.

In that same article, I’m sure Nowitzki wished he had the Spurs' record and depth:  "I thought Parker looked great again coming out from a nice little 10-day break that they can afford to give him".

Mileage Tracker: Tony Parker made his way back into the line-up and logged 2.3 miles in 31 minutes.

Report Cards – Andrew McNeil, of 48MOH, is handing out grades. Tony Parker’s return was successful, but can a Return of the Jedi compare?

It was news to me – It turns out Nando De Colo requested the trade that transpired at the end of the trade deadline.  OK, maybe not so surprising.

Coach Gregg Popovich – "Good passers don’t turn the ball over," he said. "Bad passers turn the ball over."  Eddie Sefko, of DallasNews, wisely notes that, Pop does not take excuses, in regards to turnovers.

Pre-Game Pop - "I’ll do my best," Popovich said.  (Speaking on having his entire roster for the 1st time in 2 months.)

Coach Rick Carlisle -"This effort is good enough to beat a lot of teams, but not them the way they played," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I got to look at our team and where we are and where we’re trying to get to. I’m disappointed by the result, but not the effort. I thought the effort was good. We got one more shot at these guys at our place and we’ll be ready."

Video: Post-Game Interview of Manu – Speaking on Tony Parker’s return, "He was sharp".  He also talks Cory, Patty, health and chemistry.  While you’re there…

Check out what Coach Pop said, when asked about throwing 3 different guys at Dirk Nowitzki: "Well, just to give him a different look. He’s such a great player…and nobody stops him, but at least giving him a different look, makes me feel better, like I’m trying…like I’m doing something."

Standings – Spurs in the 2 spot.  Not surprisingly, not much is separating 1-3, as the West is always competitive.  On the lower end of the bracket, the Grizzlies are the outside looking in as they sit in the 9th spot.  However, they are breathing down the necks of the Suns and Mavs.

Bonus Note:  Speaking of health, it looks like Thabo Sefolosha is out 4-6 weeks with a calf strain.  That Caron Butler insurance is looking even smarter, huh?

Up Next: Mike Brown and his Cleveland Cavaliers. Coming off a road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, expect the Cavs to turn it up a notch at home.  Do not sleep on the Cavs!  They closed off their best month of the year (8-6) with wins against Oklahoma and Utah.

Bonus Mike Brown:  Smooth or Crunchy?