San Antonio Spurs (4-4 4-4 ATS) vs. Dallas Mavericks (8-3 8-3 ATS) American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX 9:30 EST Wednesday November 18, 2009 on ESPN
by Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Spurs +1.5/Mavs -1.5
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This season the Mavs are 3-1 at home while the Spurs have yet to win a game on the road this season (0-3).
Man, what is up with the Spurs? They were though to be a legit NBA title contender after picking up swingman Richard Jefferson in the off-season, but San Antonio has dealt with injuries and they are not playing lockdown defense like they have been in the past few seasons. One of the reasons that Jefferson has not gelled with the Spurs yet is the fact he has not played that many games with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker because of missed games due to injury. The Mavs are on a 3-game winning streak since losing to the shorthanded Spurs last week and Dirk Nowitzki was recently named Western Conference player of the week. Both teams have many players that have nagging injuries, but each team should have their big guns back for the battle of the Lone Star State tonight.
Currently the Mavs are in 1st place in the Southwest Division with a 2.5 game lead over the Spurs.
In their last game the Mavs beat the Milwaukee Bucks 115-113 in OT on a last second jumper from Nowitzki. The high scorer for the Mavs in that game was Dirk going for 32 points on 12/25 shooting and he grabbed 11 boards in the game. For the game the Mavs shot well going 44/86 for a FG% of 51.2%. On defense the Mavs allowed the Bucks to shoot 44/99 from the floor for a FG% of 44.4%.
In their last game the Spurs were handed their 1st home loss getting beat 101-98 to the Oklahoma Thunder. The high scorer for the Spurs in the game was Tim Duncan going for 22 points on 9/14 shooting For the game the Spurs shot 37/79 for a FG% of 46.8%. On D the Spurs allowed the Thunder to shoot 36/77 for a FG% of 46.8%.
This season the Sours rank 8th in scoring (101.9 ppg) while the Mavs rank 10th (101.2 ppg). On defense the Mavs also rank 10th in points allowed (94.6 ppg) while the Spurs are struggling ranking 17th (99.9 ppg). Dallas has been better on the boards this season with a rebounding differential of +2.4 while the Spurs are only at -0.8 rpg.
In their win over the Bucks the Mavs were on fire from downtown shooting 50% from 3-pt land so the Spurs have to play solid perimeter D tonight and not give the Mavs open looks.
Jefferson (15.6 ppg) has to give the Spurs some offense, as in the loss to the Thunder he only had 4 points in the last game without Duncan and Parker.
Erik Dampier may not go tonight, but that not be a bad thing, as Drew Gooden has had 2 double-doubles since the big C has been out.
The Spurs have to hit the boards tonight and not let the Mavs dominate the glass. Spurs PF DeJuan Blair has to use his big body to muscle out the Mavs and not let them win the battle of the glass, especially on the offensive end of the court.
Nowitzki (26.3 ppg) has been on fire this season and if he is hitting the open J and the 3-pt bomb it will open up the lane for the other Mavs to operate.
Tony Parker has to play good D on the PG duo of Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. He has to keep Kidd from penetrating and dishing out and keep Terry (17.4 ppg) from having a big scoring game.
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Shawn Marion has an injured ankle, but he should go tonight and the Mavs really need his slashing tonight so it will open up the perimeter for the Dallas guards to have open looks.
The Spurs are averaging more points this season than the Mavs, but they have to get back to playing good defense.
On the injury front PG Tony Parker, PF Tim Duncan and SG Manu Ginobili are all day-to-day for the Spurs while PF Tim Thomas, F Shawn Marion, and C Erik Dampier are day-to-day for the Mavericks.
Jason’s Pick: The Mavs are playing well and the Spurs are not. It is that simple. Even though the Spurs do have their big guns back it will not matter, as the Mavs will win this home game and get a little revenge against the Spurs who was the last team to beat them.