Some troubling news to report:
Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright both missed today's shootaround with an illness. They are a gametime decision for tonight vs. the Spurs.— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) December 26, 2013
With both Brandan Wright and Samuel Dalembert questionable for tonight's game, the Mavericks' frontcourt will potentially be very thin. Dalembert has found himself out of the starting lineup recently with the return of the ever efficient Wright. However, he did play 29 minutes, his second highest minute total of the season as Mark Followill notes, against the Rockets. Dalembert's size and length, not to mention his rebounding, would be important against the likes of Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter.
As for Wright, he is the most efficient scorer on the team, connecting on 73.5 percent of his shots. His shooting adds an offensive punch to a bench that has fallen far from the scoring hights it reached last season. Wright's presence also allows the Mavericks to play smaller and space the floor well.
If neither can go, Head Coach Rick Carlisle will rely on DeJuan Blair and Bernard James at center. This will be Blair's first game against his former team and he will likely be rather motivated. James has proved that he can generally hold his own on the court. He will be tested against San Antonio, though. Dirk Nowitzki, if the Mavs go small, could also see minutes at center.
Dallas needs to be at full strength for tonight's matchup. The Spurs are coming off a loss and looking to get that sour taste out of their mouths.
We will keep you posted on the condition of Wright and Dalembert throughout the day and as we approach tip off.
Per Rick Carlisle, Brandan Wright is OUT tonight; Samuel Dalembert is at AAC (which presumably means he will be available).