Its been a rough week for the Mavericks. They dropped two excruciating home games to Eastern Conference foes, and now have to welcome the San Antonio Spurs to the AAC. The offense isn't clicking, key players are hurt and Dallas is just not playing well. Not exactly a good way to go into a game against a team that's won 41 games.
What have the Spurs done lately?
Oh, you know. Just continue to be the well-oiled machine that they are. The Spurs are 41-8, and would be the talk of the West if Stephen Curry and the Warriors weren't trying to destroy the world. San Antonio is 3-2 in their last five games with their only losses coming against Golden State and Cleveland. Those two actually beat the Spurs badly, by 30 and 14 points respectively. Don't let it fool you, though. Knowing the Spurs, who knows if they were even showing their full repertoire against two teams they might see in May or June. They're the second best team in the league and are scary good. Tim Duncan also didn't play in either of those two losses, and remains a question mark against Dallas. The Spurs will also be without Manu Ginobili.
What happened the last time these two teams met?
These two met nearly two weeks ago on Jan. 17, and the Mavs actually hung with the Spurs for the first half. That drastically changed, as Dallas lost 112-83 in San Antonio. The Mavs shot 35.8 percent from the floor while only knocking down 6-of-23 3-pointers. Both teams struggled offensively to start, but the Spurs got out of that rut and made quick work of Dallas. LaMarcus Aldridge dropped 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds for San Antonio and is averaging 20.5 points on 53.1 percent shooting in two games against Dallas this season. Both of those games were in San Antonio, where the Spurs are nearly unbeatable, but it's tough to say the Mavs have any type of advantage this time around given how they've played at home lately.
What player needs to step up for Dallas?
The answer has to be Wesley Matthews. He only had nine points against Miami on Wednesday and is averaging just 7.6 points while shooting 20.7 percent from three over his last five games. Dallas' offense is in a bad way right now, and Matthews' struggles to score is a big part of that. Luckily for Dallas, Matthews has played decently against San Antonio, averaging 13.5 points on 44 percent shooting in two games against the Spurs.
How to watch
The game can be seen locally on Fox Sports Southwest or nationally on ESPN. It's an 8:30 p.m. CT start.