DONUT 1: What the Mavs need right about now ...
The ball in the hands of you-know-who at the end. The return of Shawn Marion from a sore knee, which is the plan. Continued freshness from Jason Kidd, who turns 39 today. And an advantage taken if Tony Parker (hamstring) is unable to go.
Don't look now, but Dallas, despite all the struggles, is 27-21 and in fourth place in the West. The Mavs are three games back of SA in the win column. The teams behind the Mavs -- Memphis, the Clippers, Denver and Houston -- are a muddle of injury problems and losing streaks ... and after the Mavs are done in San Antonio, they prep for a doubleheader against the Rockets that allows an opportunity to put more space between contenders and pretenders.
DONUT 2: A top-tier berth is available ...
And how to arrive there? Well, being able to beat the Spurs on the road in a Southwest Division showdown would help ... Starting off, with help from NBA scout Kyle Leath ...
Dallas Mavericks at Spurs, 730 pm in The Ugly-Ass River City ...
|SPURS 30-14||MAVS 27-21|
|F- Kawhi Leonard||F- Shawn Marion|
|F- Tim Duncan||F- Dirk Nowitzki|
|C- DeJuan Blair||C- Ian Mahinmi|
|G- Danny Green||G- Roddy Beaubois|
|G- Gary Neal||G- Jason Kidd|
DONUT 3: Where you gonna watch the game? With me! At Red Rock! ...
It's time for a DB.com Mavs Get-Together: This time featuring the watching of a game at the hated Spurs, a live band, and DB.com Mavs swag ... all at Red Rock Bar & Grill at Frankfort and Midway in Dallas ... TONIGHT! Come take a look at the fun we'll have!
Our DB.com Get-Togethers generally look something like this:
The screen you will be watching the Mavs on is the biggest TV in Texas ... 200 inches of Mavs glory! We'll give away Mavs-approved DB.com swag, including Dirk Nowitzki t-shirts and whatnot. Our host Barry (a devoted Mavs fan himself) at Red Rock Bar & Grill will mix up some specials for DB.com readers!
It's the Mavs DB.com Get-Together! Find Red Rock on Facebook, pop onto the DB.com Mavs Events Page, Save The Date and we'll see y'all on on TONIGHT at Red Rock!
DONUT 4: The Spurs on offense ...
• Parker, if he's able to go, will trigger much of the offense. They still like a lot of DRAG (hi pick) in early offense. Will use Duncan, who can pop for mid-range and Blair/Splitter who will primarily roll to hoop.
• Spurs attempt more 3-pointers from the corner than any team in the league. (Remember that in the previous meeting in SA, the Spurs made 11 of their 16 in the first half to get a 93-71 win.) They will run strong and weak side action to get shooters open in corner. Also use the baseline picks for shooters. Special Situations (BLOBS/SLOBS) they will ALWAYS have a corner three as an option.
• One of their favorite set is a basic wing entry, then a guard/post cross screen on the block (Motion). Then a forward will down screen the screener (guard) who will cut to FT line area for jumper.
• They are still a VERY effective offensive team when they move and share the ball.
DONUT 5: The Spurs on defense ...
• Bigs do not run floor well in defensive transition. Dallas' bigs need to get up the court and be part of the break ...
• Can be beat off the dribble on the perimeter. Beaubois is one Mav who can take advantage.
• Will go over hi picks, especially if the screener is more of a popper than roller. Sometime will trap the hi picks.
• Will play behind post defensively when they do not perceive a scoring threat.
• They do not gamble a lot on defense. They show good fundamentals. Will make Dirk Nowitzki and the rest work for good shots in the half court.
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Give my sponsors a click, please. They keep DB.com crankin' and they will do you right!
DONUT 7: Stat Check ...
• Spurs are 4th in scoring at 101.1/gm.
• San Antonio has won four of five. The only loss? A 106-99 score at Dallas last week.
• Spurs are 4th in FG% at 46.7%
• Dallas has lost six of nine at SA, including back-to-back defeats by an average of 17.0 points.
• Spurs are 1st in 3pt FG% at 40.0%
DONUT 8: Stay in touch with Fish and the Mavs ...
Do it on DB.com Boards and on Facebook and at FishSports on Twitter!
Oh, and catch The Fish tonight on the Mavs telecast on Fox Sports Southwest as he brings you Mavs-at-Spurs along with Dana, Bob Ortegel, Derek Harper and Mark Followill, all starting at 7 p.m.!
DONUT 9: Odom's Answer ...
His wife doesn't want you to boo. (Nothing more emasculating in sports -- Little League to the NBA -- than having a mom/wife/girlfriend/daughter have to stand up for you.) His buddy Kobe doesn't want you to boo, either. (Nothing more humilating than having the opponent take pity on you.) The answer, with the LO bar so low that his 1-1-1 game from Tuesday almost meets expectations?
Take it on the road. They will not boo Lamar Odom in San Antonio. They will barely notice he exists.
DONUT 10: Every day. Every angle. Every Mav. ...
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DONUT 11: Mavs FA target...
Per Sefko, the Mavs are not going after a big to fill the roster spot made available. Rather, the target is 6-5 swingman Kelenna Azubuike, the former Warrior. Kaman was the primo target, but no Hornets buyout is forthcoming. Next on the list was Turiaf, but he's apparently headed elsewhere. Remember, the deal has to be finalized by today for the acquired player to be eligible for the playoffs.
DONUT 12: How to Beat the Spurs ...
• RUN - Push the ball and beat them back. They are much easier to score on in transition than in the half-court. Blsir and Duncan often struggle to get back.
• CLOSE OUTS – Close out long on shooters, i.e. make them put the ball on the floor and funnel them to post. On paper, this is even more applicable if Tony Parker (hamstring) cannot play.
• ATTACK – Do not be passive on either end of them floor. "Punch them in the mouth" first. Shawn Marion's planned return from a knee injury will help here. This mindset worked last week, and no matter the personnel, it's the philosophy that works tonight.