The Dallas Mavericks will have a quick turnaround time, as they travel to the AT&T Center and go head-to-head against the San Antonio Spurs. This will be Dallas' second back-to-back game in a matter of just eight days, early into the season.
Jason Kidd’s team had a fast start against the juggernaut Miami Heat but were unable to sustain their play. Without Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber, the Dallas Mavericks could just not get past the bruising Heat defense. They’ll hope to do better against a young and rebuilding San Antonio Spurs team.
The San Antonio Spurs are coming off a big loss to the Indiana Pacers, who were missing some key players. Coach Pop ripped apart the team’s efforts in that loss and would surely demand more from his youthful troops. Even if Dallas comes in undermanned, they are going to have a tough time as long as Luka Doncic is around.
Fixture: Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs | 2021-22 NBA season.
Date & Time: Wednesday, November 3rd; 8:30 PM ET (Thursday, November 4th; 6:00 AM IST).
Venue: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX.
Dallas Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks are off to an uneven start mainly for three reasons - Kristaps Porzingis’ absence, the struggles when he’s around and Luka Doncic’s shooting inefficiency. The Slovenian superstar is averaging only 22.5 PPG this season, 5.2 points off of his output last season.
Doncic's shooting percentages have been his most glaring struggle this campaign. These percentages are career-lows from the ultra-talented point guard of the Dallas Mavericks. He has been hitting only a dismal 25.5% from three and 42.7% from the field. His true shooting percentage is way below what the NBA is accustomed to seeing him. From 58.7% last season, it’s now down to 49.5%.
Doncic’s value isn’t just in his shooting, though. He has been his usual versatile self. However, he needs to regain his shooting touch for Dallas to get going.
Key Player - Luka Doncic
Luka Doncic is the heart and soul of the Dallas Mavericks. He has been so good in such a short time that his middling numbers this season would generally be viewed as great for other players.
There’s a reason why Doncic has been part of the MVP conversation over the last few years, including this season. He is that good and his struggles are highlighting just how well he has been performing since he entered the league.
Despite a somewhat poor first few games, the All-NBA guard still leads the Dallas Mavericks in scoring, rebounding and assists. Doncic’s struggles are the last of the team’s concerns, however. They know that their franchise player will figure things out as the season progresses.
Dallas Mavericks Predicted Lineup
G - Luka Doncic | G - Jalen Brunson | F - Tim Hardaway Jr. | F - Dorian Finney-Smith | C - Dwight Powell.
San Antonio Spurs Preview
The last time the San Antonio Spurs played against the Dallas Mavericks this season, they put up a gallant stand. Dejounte Murray was two assists shy of a triple-double while Jakob Poeltl was a sturdy interior presence with his usual top-level defense. He ably backed up Murray with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
They will need at least a repeat of that performance to replace the lackluster showing they displayed in their last game against the Indiana Pacers. The San Antonio Spurs have a variety of athletic wing players who can cause havoc on offense with aggressive drives.
They can also be a pest on defense with their length, defensive awareness and athleticism. Pop’s team just needs to be consistent on both ends of the floor to become a better team.
No one from the San Antonio Spurs is averaging more than 18 points a game this season. The variety and depth of their scoring options are somehow not reflected in how they play right now. There is also that lack of a true scoring threat the way Luka Doncic is for the Dallas Mavericks.
At least one player from the San Antonio Spurs' young core will have to take another big leap this season for the franchise to at least sniff the play-in.
Key Player - Dejounte Murray
The fourth-year guard out of Washington is leading the San Antonio Spurs in scoring, assists and steals with 17.6 PPG, 8.4 APG and 2.0 SPG. He is also second in rebounding at 7.6 RPG despite only standing at 6'4".
Murray is one of only six players in the NBA this season who has tallied a triple-double. In an overtime loss against the Los Angeles Lakers, he finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 15 assists. Murray's all-round game and All-NBA level defense are needed by the San Antonio Spurs to remain within striking distance of the play-in tournament.
For someone who leads the team in scoring, Murray would have to be more efficient in scoring. His 49.9% TS is significantly lower than the league average of 54.7% this season. Murray could be one of the best two-way players in the league if his offense catches up to his stellar defense.
San Antonio Spurs Predicted Lineup
G - Dejounte Murray | G - Derrick White | F - Lonnie Walker IV | F - Keldon Johnson | C - Jakob Poeltl.
Mavericks vs Spurs Match Prediction
Games between the I-35 rivals are no longer what they used to be. However, they still go hard at each other every time they square off. The matchup between the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs will be another all-action game, like the last time they battled.
San Antonio regularly masks its lack of a legit scoring threat by using depth and execution. Dallas, on the other hand, will have one of the best in Luka Doncic who can also involve everyone on offense.
The San Antonio Spurs should be raring to make up for that effortless display against the Pacers. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks could be coming in shorthanded on the second night of a back-to-back and could be a little fatigued.
These factors point to what could be yet another close encounter in the heart of Texas. If the match is a close one, Luka Magic is bound to happen. The Dallas Mavericks could edge past the San Antonio Spurs in this game.
Where to watch the Mavericks vs Spurs game?
Bally Sports San Antonio and Bally Sports Dallas will air the game live locally. The NBA League Pass will also stream the game live. On air, play-by-play commentaries can be heard over WOAI/KXTN and KEGL/KFZO.