Dallas at San Antonio
Time: 7:30 PM CST (NBA LP)
Spread: DAL -5.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Dallas Mavericks have won six of its last 10 overall and are 35-23 and currently seeded No. 7 in the Western Conference. It leads the Memphis Grizzlies by three games and trails the No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder by just one game. Dallas is 5.5-point favorites in San Antonio, where the Spurs have gone 14-12 this season. The betting total is set at 233 points according to NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes.
The San Antonio Spurs is just 24-32 on the season and currently is seeded No. 11 in the West, trailing Memphis by 3.5 games for the West’s final playoff spot.
Looking at the Spurs roster, it is understandable as to why: San Antonio is led by two high-scoring veterans, but this team’s defensive outlook is nowhere near as bright, and it lacks depth unless one is to overrate the talents in it and what they have done so far.
San Antonio is giving up 114.7 points per game while scoring 113.7 itself. It has a negative point differential, a sub .500 record, and still the rough outlines of what could be a postseason team even so. It is certainly too early to write them off, at least.
The Spurs are offensively led by the two veterans DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Both post-PERs of 20-plus, but after that, the depth really thins out on this roster. Bryn Forbes has provided a boost with 11 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game, but he is really playing right at “replacement level.” The same applies to Patty Mills, whose defense is partly to blame for teams tallying so many points on the Spurs. Rudy Gay is washed up, and Dejounte Murray has been decent but the Spurs were hoping for even more.
All of this comes together to spell a team that is almost lucky to have won one-third of its games thus far in 2019-20. Without a step-up in defensive intensity, it will not even win that many moving forward. Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker IV were all billed as potential breakout players, but none of them have broken out really.
Murray averages 10 per game, White 10, and Walker tallies just 5.6 per night. The trio was expected to lead the Spurs after Tony Parker’s regime ended, but in the two seasons since Parker left the Spurs, none of it has come to fruition, and the team is sub .500 mostly due to a lack of depth, as its primary two veterans have continued to produce.
DALLAS news & notes:
The Dallas Mavericks have won six of its last 10 overall SU.
Luka Doncic has gone atomic since returning from injury, but it came with the nasty fact that the other star, Kristaps Porzingis, is now out with right knee soreness. Both Doncic and Porzingis were out last game, and the result was that Seth Curry simply had his best game of the season as the mavericks rallied to defeat the Hornets 116-100. Curry scored 26 off the bench in connecting on 6 of 8 from three-point range, and he added six rebounds and three assists while finishing with a +20 mark for his 28 minutes on the court.
With Doncic out, the Mavericks got a good look at Kristaps Porzingis, who turned in another strong game in the Mavs’ loss to Boston. He tallied 23 points on 8 of 19 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds, three blocks, two assists, and a steal but is out for an indefinite period now. It has been hard to keep its core healthy. The Mavericks have had a difficult time getting its core together healthy, but are still 32-21 and 18-8 on the road this season.
Doncic had 35 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the 120-112 win over Portland. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 29 points and five made triples.
On the season Porzingis is averaging 17.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, but all suggestions are that he was able to greatly increase his usage percentage with Doncic unavailable. The Mavericks need to get another guy to step up, because Doncic left a 29.3 point, 8.9 assist hole when he sprained his ankle. While he is expected to make a full recovery and is already back in triple-double form (!), the Mavs are still in overhaul replacing his production.
Although the Doncic-Porzingis punch is a strong one, the Mavericks still seem to be lacking a “third star” to complete the picture.