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Talking Spurs with 48 Minutes of Hell's Matthew Tynan

ESPN TrueHoop's 48 Seconds of Hell and friend of the site, Matthew Tynan, was nice enough to answer some questions for the Mavs' second meeting against the Spurs.

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Mavs fans are undecided about how to feel about their new acquisition of Rajon Rondo, at the expense of Brandan Wright. As a fan of a conference rival, how do you feel about it? Does it make the Mavs more threatening?

A quick Twitter poll of Spurs fans revealed no consensus — responses ranged from ‘uh-oh’ to ‘Spurs are good as long as they’re healthy’ to ‘I dunno, he might gum up the offense — but I’d say the prevailing sentiment from that perspective is this likely makes Dallas a little better in the long run, and they’re already quite good to begin with.

Objectively, I’m not sure what to think of this. The Mavericks’ offense is already fantastic, and the addition of Rajon Rondo won’t fix middle-of-the-road shooting percentages from deep. Unless, of course, his ability to create off the dribble and his insane passing skills just open up better opportunities for everyone else, which you’d think will happen.

The biggest question: How will Dallas address what is now an old front-court without any reliable depth on the roster? Can they perhaps find another shooter? How many minutes can that team afford to play Dirk and Tyson?

There’s a long way to go before the trade deadline, and there are guys like Jermaine O’Neal and Ray Allen out on the market, so I doubt they’re done making moves.

What do you think everyone should be looking for from Rajon Rondo in this game? What do you think he'll try to take advantage of, and/or how does he normally play the Spurs? Do you think he'll be looking to prove his place in his first game with a new team?

Rondo is a high-usage, dribble-dribble-dribble-type point guard, which will be impossible to integrate immediately. I can’t imagine we’ll see heavy minutes from him on Saturday, as this thing will likely take a little time. Probably best to temper expectations right off the bat if you’re a Mavs fan.

The Spurs are coming into their third game in four nights, one of them a 3OT game against the brutal Grit-and-Grind Grizz and the other a 3OT game against the Blazers. How do you think that'll affect their performance? Will they have a hard time matching the new-look-Mavs' energy?

The Spurs haven’t exactly been an energetic group so far this year, and Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard are still battling injuries. This game will also come on the second night of a back-to-back, so who the hell knows what Pop will decide to do, especially after that triple-overtime game?

On the other hand, it’s entirely possible the incorporation of Rondo may muck things up a bit at the start for Dallas. My guess: This won’t be the most aesthetically pleasing game we’ve ever seen, but it’ll be that typically fun, intense Spurs-Mavs matchup to which we’ve become accustomed.

The last time the Mavs and Spurs played, the Spurs beat the Mavs in a very intense, close game. The Spurs have struggled mightily since with a hurt roster, but most of their players are back. Do you think they've played to expectations? How do you think they'll do in this rematch with a pissed off Dallas?

Well, they’re still without (at this point) Leonard, Parker, and Patty Mills, three super important pieces, obviously. They haven’t been right all year in terms of performing up to expectations, but then again, that depends on what the expectations were.

San Antonio has been to the Western Conference Finals and two straight Finals appearances over the last three years, which takes its toll. They are moving more slowly this season than they have in years past, and that’s hurt them in many of their matchups. At some point, however, they’re going to have to at least start the process of flipping a switch.

I’m not sure that happens here, but you can bet they’ll be ready for a Dallas team that’s been injected with a new level of excitement. Whether they respond to it remains to be seen, I guess.

If you had to take Monta or Rondo in a fight, who would you take? Keep in mind that Monta has it all when you answer.

Monta Ellis and the empirical fact that he does, indeed, have it all really makes this thing interesting, but that Rondo reach might be a deal-breaker here.

Something that may work against Rajon, however, is the small issue of his headband. If somehow Monta can find a way to duck a Rondo attack and pull the headband over his eyes, then he may have a chance to close the deal. But seeing as how Rajon is likely in a situation where he has to prove himself in a new locker room, I’m imagining he’ll be on top of his game.

Rondo in a close one — instantly earning respect among Dallas’ village elders.