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Tuesday Spurs Stuff

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Big game tonight, with both Dallas and San Antonio at 11-8 and seemingly back on track after rough starts.  Of course, Rick Carlisle thinks every game is big.

"Every game is going to be meaningful because at the end of the year, someone is going to get home court by half a game or a game, and someone's going to get in the playoffs by half a game or a game," Rick Carlisle said Monday. "What you don't want is to look back and kick yourself about a game that happened in November.

"It's big. But I don't see a game that isn't big. That's not coach-speak. That's a fact. Tiebreakers, record, head-to-head, conference – all of this stuff has great meaning.

That, of course, is total coach speak.  This game is bigger then a home game vs Memphis or Oklahoma City...

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Josh Howard and Antoine Wright practiced with the team Monday, but they are still both questionable to play.  I'll resist making a J5 prediction, since those haven't worked out too well.

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Dirk Nowitzki, always the comedian.

So guard J.J. Barea puts together a string of highlight-reel performances and suddenly he's the BMOC, according to teammate and friend Dirk Nowitzki.

"He's changed already a little bit," Nowitzki said Monday. "He went up to the bouncer on Saturday and said, 'Don't you know who I am?' "

Wait, maybe he's serious.

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Off the top of my head, Diop is the only Mavs player who I can't remember having a really good game this season.

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Lost in the JJ Barea madness was Dirk Nowitzki averaging 31 and 10 in the three games last week.  It netted him player of the week honors.  Dirk is the first Maverick to win the award since he won it two weeks ago.

Lost in the horrible start is Dirk having an MVP level season through the first quarter.

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Mike Fisher has his Tuesday morning donuts including a recap of Mark Cuban on the Simpsons.

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The Spurs turnaround has been all about defense.

Over the past 14 games, of which they have won 10, the Spurs have held opponents to an average of 87.9 points — nearly 20 points better than during their 1-4 start. All told, they are allowing 92.4 points per game, rebounding to rank fourth-best in the league.

That kind of defensive dominance again will be necessary tonight, when the Spurs face a Dallas team that thrashed them 98-81 in early November at the AT&T Center and has been piling up the points ever since. The surging Mavericks have won nine of their past 10 games, topping the century mark in six straight.