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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks

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The Spurs have won five straight. The Mavs have lost five straight. Why stop now.

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Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Date: 11/20/16, Time: 7:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: NBATV - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

Whether you thought Rick Carlisle to be a full-on sorcerer or more of a Rasputin-level mystic, we all had to accept that even his blood magic had its limits. Old age and Harrison Barnes come for us all eventually, and for the Mavs that time was apparently this season.

With Dirk Nowitzki out and its backcourt decimated, Dallas has just two wins and sits at the very bottom of the league. Things won't get much better this week, as they'll follow up this game against the Spurs with tilts against the Clippers and Cavaliers. They'd be very fortunate to steal just one of those, but it shouldn't happen tonight if San Antonio continues trending in the right direction.

Mavs looking for offense

The Mavs have averaged under 78 points over their last four games. They're dead last in offensive rating and play at one of the league's slowest paces to boot. The Spurs shouldn't have trouble putting points on them, but I'd probably still take the under tonight.

Long night for Harrison Barnes

Barnes has been better than some skeptics thought since he's arrived in Dallas, averaging 21 points and nearly six rebounds a game, with solid percentages. But those numbers have been crashing down to earth in his last two games, with him shooting a combined 8 of 30 from the field. It's a worry for fans who expected a regression but aren't quite sure what the mean is for the 24-year-old ex-Warrior.

Barnes is due for a bounce-back, but I'm not sure it'll happen when he's shadowed by Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green on one end and having to help contain Leonard on the other.

Jonathan Gibson?

The 29-year-old rookie has somehow made it on my sad excuse for a fantasy basketball team, but like most people I'd never heard of him until a few days ago. Then again I haven't been watching much basketball from the Italian, Turkish, Chinese and Iranian leagues these past years, where Gibson had been making his living.

The Mavs signed Gibson to a 10-day contract last week to deal with injuries to Deron Williams, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea, and he's quickly turned into one of the team's lone bright spots. He scored 11 points in his first game versus the Grizzlies, and followed it up with 26 against the Magic. Dallas is desperate for scoring off the bench and can only hope that the basketball journeyman is more than a flash in the pan.

It's easy to empathize with the Mavs, who can't have envisioned playing out the end of Dirk's career this way, but let's not go too easy on an organization that produced this piece of marketing material, either.

vs

San Antonio Spurs

(Record: 10-3)

Dallas Mavericks

(Record: 2-10)

November 20, 2016

AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

7:30 PM CDT

TV: NBA TV

Starters

Tony Parker

PG

Seth Curry

Danny Green

SG

Wesley Matthews

Kawhi Leonard

SF

Harrison Barnes

LaMarcus Aldridge

PF

Dorian Finney-Smith

Pau Gasol

C

Andrew Bogut


Vegas line: Spurs by 16.

Game prediction: Spurs by 19.

For the Mavericks fans' perspective, visit Mavs Moneyball.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher.

As always, PtR's Gamethread will be up this evening for those who want to chat through the game. But if you're not able to log in here, you can try the Fanvana app which helps connect sports fans and was created by a fellow Spurs fan. Check out the free app on iOS or Android to discover other Spurs fans and join the live chatter for tonight's game. You can follow PtR's tweet stream directly on Fanvana as the game unfolds.