The San Antonio Spurs (18-50) will host the Dallas Mavericks (34-35) on Tuesday night. For San Antonio, they are simply running out the ground ball and trying to position themselves in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes. If the Mavericks, who will try to get back to .500, can impose their will on them early, it should be an easy night for Dallas. If the game is close during crunch time, Gregg Popovich can coach circles around Jason Kidd and steal a game at home.
Here’s some thoughts prior to the game
Will the youth line up get a chance again?
As of now, Luka Doncic is still listed as out while Christian Wood, Kyrie Irving, and Tim Hardaway Jr. are listed as game-time decisions. Ideally, two of the three question marks suit up and give the Mavericks enough firepower to take down the tanktastic Spurs. If all three are out in addition to Luka, things could get murky. Kyrie Irving was recently upgraded to questionable which indicates he may have the best chance of actually playing.
If not, that means the young guys will get a chance to give it a go again.
Please stay out of Jaden Hardy’s way
Jaden Hardy had a rather inefficient night Monday, but he was also tasked with running an offense that’s designed for Luka Doncic. Dallas ran a lot of pick-and-roll and more often than not there was another big man in his way when he’d get into the lane. If he has his number called again to be the primary shot taker, then his teammates have to step up as well or at the very least get out of his way. Hardy’s really improved as a finisher, but it was hard to tell against the Grizzlies since his screener often brought an additional body to the play making it harder to score.
This might be a very ugly basketball game
Outside of injuries, there’s very little to dissect from a basketball perspective. The Mavericks are top heavy and struggle to score without their primary playmakers. Even healthy, the defense continues to be a question mark and while the players listed as questionable are far from what you would call defensive stoppers, their absence puts even more pressure on Dallas’s leaky defense. The Spurs are better off losing this game. They want to lose this game, organizationally at least. But recent wins over the Nuggets and Pacers tell you that they are capable of occasionally punching up and handing out an unexpected loss.
If either Wood or Irving suit up, this game becomes more watchable, but for now, brace yourself for a rough watch.
How to watch
This division game between two old rivals kicks off at 7:30 pm CST. Locals can watch it on BallySports Southwest. Everyone else, it’s on NBA League Pass.