What once was a brutal rivalry between the Mavericks and Spurs has since become a one sided affair. As the Spurs come into town tonight, the Mavs strive to spark the old Texas rivalry again, who have lost eight of the last nine games against San Antonio.
Sitting at the bottom of the West with a 2-12 record, it looks as if the Mavs have officially entered rebuild mode as Gregg Popovich and the Spurs still sit near the top of the conference fighting to remain contenders with star player Kawhi Leonard yet to play a game this season.
Leading the Spurs in Leonard’s absence is LaMarcus Aldridge, who is looking like his old self from his Portland days, averaging 22 points and nine rebounds per game. New acquisition Rudy Gay, has been an asset off the bench, averaging 13 points and five rebounds per game.
For the Mavs, their offense will be put to the test as the Spurs rank tied for 4th in the league for least points allowed per game at 99.6. Dallas must feed Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. the ball to continue their hot streak over the past three games. This past week, Barnes averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds while the rookie averaged 19 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Following Nerlens Noel’s Instagram post following Sunday’s loss to Oklahoma City, it will be interesting to see how many minutes Carlisle plays him, if any. Salah Mejri has been effective as of late and a defensive presence will definitely be needed to hinder LaMarcus Aldridge.
Tip-off is at 7:30 at the AAC. Go Mavs!
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