The classic rivalry continues as the Dallas Mavericks (12-15) challenge the San Antonio Spurs (20-8) in San Antonio. History has shown that these two teams usually find a way to make the in-state matchup one to remember, no matter what is going on between the two teams. The Mavericks will have to adjust at the point guard position with Derek Fisher being granted his release from the team on Saturday.
After dealing with injury issues to Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson and Manu Ginobili, it appears the Spurs will go into the game with a full compliment of healthy players. According to reports, Brandan Wright (right ankle) and Elton Brand (groin) participated somewhat in shootaround. Their status are still in up in the air in regards to participating in the game against the Spurs. The Mavericks announced that they have signed free agent guard/forward Chris Douglas-Roberts. He is the fifth player this season that has been called up from the D-League.
Douglas-Roberts (6-7, 210) has played in 11 games (all starts) for the Mavericks’ D-League affiliate Texas Legends this season, and has averaged a league-high 22.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals in 38.5 minutes per game. In those 11 contests, he has shot 49.4 percent from the field, 39.5 percent from 3-point range and 90.4 percent from the line. The 6-7 guard/forward spent the 2012 training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers, where he averaged 4.0 points and 8.3 minutes in four games. He played for Virtus Bologna of the Italian League in 2011-12. Douglas-Roberts has joined the Mavericks in San Antonio, but it is still unknown in regards to whether or not he will make his debut against the Spurs.
Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Spurs.
The Spurs have won five of the last seven regular-season meetings with the Mavericks. Dallas and San Antonio split the 2011-12 season series (2-2), with the home team winning all four games. The Mavericks have won five of the last seven meetings in Dallas, including the last two. But the Spurs have won three straight and 11 of the last 17 matchups in San Antonio. Rodrigue Beaubois averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and 30.0 minutes in four games (three starts) against San Antonio in 2011-12. Vince Carter averaged 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 26.3 minutes in four games (two starts). Shawn Marion averaged 8.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.7 blocks and 30.0 minutes in three starts against
the Spurs in 2011-12.
It’s a Small World:
Spurs guard Danny Green was a college teammate of Mavericks big man Brandan Wright at the University of North Carolina in 2006-07. Wright also played with Spurs forward Stephen Jackson on the Golden State Warriors from 2007-09. Spurs guard Tony Parker (1997-2001), Spurs forward Boris Diaw (1998-2003) and Mavericks guard Rodrigue Beaubois (2006-09) all played in France before beginning their NBA careers. Corey Crowder, the father of Mavericks forward Jae Crowder, played in seven games for the Spurs in 1994-95. The San Antonio Spurs franchise began as the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA in 1967.
1. PROTECT THE BALL. The Mavericks are averaging 22.0 turnovers over their last four road games. Simply put, this issue needs to be corrected.
2. Be active on defense. The Spurs will try to swing the Mavericks all over the floor with their stellar ball movement. The ball moves rapidly on offense for the Spurs and it usually leads to open looks. The Spurs rank first in assists, averaging 25.4, the highest since the 1995-96 Spurs teams which averaged 24.9 assists. As it was mentioned, they usually get good looks off their ball movement. They’re making teams pay with it as the Spurs rank third in the NBA averaging 104.4 points, third shooting 47.6 percent from the floor and fifth shooting 37.8 percent from three.
3. Don’t wear down late. The Spurs’ depth allows them to have plenty in the tank in the final quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Spurs are averaging a league-best 27.7 points and are shooting the highest field goal percentage, 49.3 percent, and three-point field goal percentage, 44.6 percent, in the NBA. San Antonio is limiting opponents to 23.9 points on 42.4 percent shooting from the floor and 32.6 percent from downtown in the final quarter. The Spurs are 9-6 this season when entering the fourth quarter tied or trailing their opponent. A Spur has scored in double figures in 10 different games in the final quarter. Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter are tied for the most, scoring in double figures on three separate times in the fourth.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.