When Dirk Nowitzki thought about making his debut in the 2012-2013 NBA season against old rivals the San Antonio Spurs, he didn’t think he’d get to sit in the middle of the third quarter, never to be called back in again. This is the difference at the moment between the Spurs and the Mavs – 38 points, more or less.
One of the NBA’s most consistent rivalries over the previous decade, the Mavs have been in a nosedive since winning the NBA title in 2011, while the Spurs have pretty much remained the same, despite not reaching any NBA finals since 2007. While Mark Cuban keeps signing and changing and flipping in an attempt to win now, the San Antonio Spurs continue to rely around their three tree trunks that keep getting old but don’t give in to the damages of time.
A basketball clinic some would call it. Some would say the Mavericks are simply a hopeless team, that began the season with a few good games, but quickly went back down to the where they belong – in the bottom half of the Western Conference, as it seems everything fluctuates around the ability of O.J. Mayo to get hot early on. He finished with only 7 points, shooting 3-8 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arc.
On the other side of the court, the Spurs simply slit through and played fantastic inside-outside basketball, leaving the Mavs, a rather slow team, too slow to handle this kind of basketball at this kind of speed and efficiency, rooted to their places. The Spurs finished with 33 assists (9 for Manu Ginobili) and had no problem slicing through, wait for the defense to squeeze together and find the open man.
They finished with 20-30 from beyond the arc, a new franchise record for three point field goals. They set the previous record of 19 only two weeks ago against the Bobcats. In between was a nasty road schedule, seeing them lose in Utah, Denver, Oklahoma City and Portland. Their 66.7% from beyond the arc is also a new NBA record for teams that made at least 20 from beyond the arc.
The hero of this one was Danny Green, a bit above the rest. He finished with 25 points, hitting 7 of his 8 attempts from three. Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson also hit multiple three point shots.
That’s a heck of a night for us as far as steals are concerned. That’s not going to happen very often. We were fortunate it was one of those nights when your opponent has a bad night and you have a great night and it ends up like tonight.
Dallas turned the ball over 20 times, six of them by O.J. Mayo, who is averaging 8.3 points and 4 turnovers over the last three games. With that kind of terrible way before the holiday spirits, Dirk Nowitzki didn’t have much to do. He finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds, but really didn’t try to force himself on the game or take over like he usually knows how. It’s going to take some time before he can try and get the Mavs out of the mud, putting them at 12-16 and far away, at the moment, from a playoff spot.