The San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks are scheduled to meet at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Sunday. This rivalry doesn’t have the same allure to it that it used to have during the Tim Duncan and Steve Nash era, but it’s still a big game for fans in Texas. There are still bragging rights that come with this game for Spurs and Mavericks’ fans. The Spurs are a team looking to find a spot in the playoffs.
Any seed will do for the Spurs. They head into Dallas with a record of 24-26 and two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for eighth. If the playoffs started today, the Mavericks would be the first team out. The Spurs don’t feel too confident in going to the playoffs, and even if they do, it’s likely going to be a quick exit.
They didn’t try too hard to keep LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio. Aldridge wanted off the Spurs and signed with a contender in Brooklyn with the Nets. He is far from the same player he was, but he was still a serviceable big man. Jakob Poetl has been playing nicely for the Spurs at center. However, with Aldridge gone, depth is becoming an issue for the Spurs.
Credit the Spurs for their never quite effort against the Denver Nuggets on Friday. The Spurs were down big after three quarters and pulled within two points for a 121-119 loss. They outscored the Nuggets in the fourth quarter, 36-25, but it wasn’t enough after digging too much of a hole. It’s tough to get all the way there and complete comebacks like that against good teams.
The Nuggets swept the Spurs in the back-to-back series, with a 106-96 win on Wednesday prior to fending off the Spurs on Friday. With the two losses, the Spurs have losses in six of their last eight outings, and head to Dallas on a four-game losing streak. Their ugliest loss was a 125-101 defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers on April 5. The Spurs should not be losing against the Cavs like that at home.
For as good as the Mavericks are on paper with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, they have been playing below expectations this season. Far from bad, but at 29-22, the Mavericks are only seventh in the NBA. The breakout seasons for the Suns and Jazz has left the Mavericks on the backburner somewhat in the West. In any case, Doncic and Porzingis are not players I’d want to see in the playoffs if I’m an opponent. Head below for our free Spurs vs. Mavericks pick on April 11, 2021.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA Betting Odds:
Spurs vs. Mavericks Prediction:
The Mavericks are coming off an impressive 116-101 win over the Milwaukee Bucks. It’s important to note that Giannis did not play in that game, but Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were both in terrific form. Doncic scored 27 points, 9 assists, and 9 rebounds, while Porzingis went off for 26 points and 17 rebounds. The Mavericks were flying before having a letdown spot against the Houston Rockets. They were on a five-game winning streak, and then the Mavericks looked disinterested on the road in Houston and suffered a 102-93 loss.
That’s what happens if a team gets caught looking ahead. They did a fine job responding, and the best sign of all recently is that Doncic and Porzingis have been elevated their games from earlier in the season. Like I said, the Mavericks are not a team I’d want to play in the first-round. The Mavericks could easily pull off an upset against a higher seed. It really comes down to Doncic and Porzingis catching fire, and both have that ability against any team in the league.
The Mavericks are 19th in the NBA with 111.5 points scored per game. You would believe it’d be more points with this offense, but this team has been putting a lot of emphasis on defense this year. They are still shooting at a high clip, with a field goal percentage of 46.8%. The Mavericks like to slow things down and find a good shot instead of going fast. It’s resulted in them turning into a top-10 defense in the NBA. The Mavericks are 8th with 109.4 points scored per game. They’ve limited opponents to a field goal percentage of 45.3% for fifth in the league.
Through their last five outings, the Mavs have been stingy with just 95.8 points against per game. Conversely, the Spurs have seemingly given up, and have gotten throttled for 125 points per game in their previous five contests. Aldridge gone certainly hurts the defense. He’s not as effective as he was in his prime years, but his length and size was valuable. The Spurs have allowed at least 120 points five of their last seven attempts. Dallas beat San Antonio in their most recent meeting on March 10 with Aldridge absent, 115-104. I could see a similar game playing out tonight, thus laying 6 points looks bettable on the Mavericks.