The 4-Down Podcast, Episode 20: Are the Mavs better than the Spurs?


The Dallas Mavericks are rolling right now, just like your San Antonio Spurs. And though the Spurs have the NBA’s best record, many people have the Mavs (and the Boston Celtics) ranked ahead of the Spurs.

To talk through this, we had Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game, NBC Sports ProBasketballTalk, Voice on the Floor and The New York Times Off The Dribble blog on the show to breakdown the Mavs and discuss their merits as a top NBA team.

We delve into what Tyson Chandler has done to make such a big impact on the Mavericks’ defense and, as a Mavs blogger, what scares him about the Spurs. Also, we talk about the Miami Heat, because it’s hard not to.

Make sure you subscribe to the 4-Down Podcast via iTunes or RSS feed.

  • agutierrez

    Really interesting discussion. Before we play the Mavs next week, it would be great if someone would do a relatively detailed analysis of how the zone works and how it is best defeated. I keep hearing and reading how that has been a key to the Mavs success up to this point. Thanks.

  • Mark Wylie

    I subscribe on iTunes and the description was correct but the audio was Episode 19.

  • Andrew A. McNeill

    @Mark Wylie

    Sorry about that. I just went in and corrected that error, it should be updated in iTunes in just a few minutes. You may have to re-download the episode.

  • shlos

    a quick aside pertaining to our current record: does anyone realize how fortunate the spurs have been on this winning streak thus far? jennings got banged up during the game last week, billups was sidelined when the spurs were in denver, the suns game did not include the likes of carter, turkoglu, or pietrus, and rudy gay was suspended one game when memphis came to town.. and now of course tonight, no melo. strange occurrences as of late.

  • BOSS

    The Mavs are not a better team than us in the long run. The zone is a good thing to run in the regular season b/c teams don’t have as much practice time to properly analyze an effective way to beat it and b/c not too manys teams run zone they have taken alot teams out of their offense. Although playoff basketball is alot different and good coaches such as Pop and Phil would find a destroy it, but it is an effective way to get a good regular season record if you have the personnel to run it. And lets face it their awful man to man defense at the point is wuts forcing them to run zone. You have to have a good man defense in the playoffs or you will get killed on the offensive glass.

  • quincyscott


    That’s an excellent point. Both teams are doing things right now that may not translate to the postseason. For the Spurs, the reliance on outside shooting and the spotty defense. Another way to pose this question, then, is, Which team can better adjust to playoff style basketball, or perhaps, Which team will be harder to beat in a seven game series? We are not going to have answers any time soon.

  • Rey

    Hey, since when have the Spurs gotten respect in the league? We’ve always been the “oldies,” the “dirty players,” the “has-beens.” No matter what we do, we’d always get sidelined by the LeBrons and the Mavs and the other attention-hungry dorks. We’re winning pretty classy now, but sports websites only see the Heat and the Mavs and the Celtics and the Lakers. Hell, they’re even kissing the butt of the Knicks now, just because they’re “winning.”

    The Spurs remain one of the most elite teams in the NBA, and we have three championships (four, if you include the win in 1999) and Playoffs appearances since Duncan got drafted, but still there’s no love.

    To tell you honestly, I’m sick of ESPN being a cheerleader for LeBron & Co., and I’m sick of reading other sports websites with them practically crowning the Heat/Lakers/Mavs/Celtics as the champions. At least does feature a little attention to the Spurs – and the Magic as well (it’s the other team that doesn’t get any respect, despite the charisma of Dwight Howard).

  • duaneofly

    Rey, of course you have to count 1999, it might have been a shortened, lockout season, but I’m pretty sure every team was still competing for the same title we were.

  • mac


    Who’s on your fantasy squad?


    To tell you honestly, I’m sick of ESPN being a cheerleader for LeBron & Co., and I’m sick of reading other sports websites with them practically crowning the Heat/Lakers/Mavs/Celtics as the champions



  • Gomezd

    I somewhat agree with rey, but it has been like that forever, big teams always get more attention and biased comments (in general).

    I mean we all know the spurs have had a relatively easy schedule, no one is disputing that but through the heat’s streak not many people seem to care that it was against poor teams, the only good team they beat was the Jazz and Hawks (and no I don’t consider the the nicks a good team) every one was talking about how the heat had finally managed to turn on the switch or something. The mavs on the other hand didnt get anywere near that level of enthusiasm or respect for their winning streak, unlike the heat the mavs beat some really good teams, Spurs, Jazz, Thunder, Hawks even the Heat, yet everyone was fixated on the greatness of Miamis streak.

    As a side note see if you can find anywhere that brings to light the fact that the Lakers have only beaten ONE team that has a winning record only one, their schedule has been ridiculously easy yet no one seems to care/mention that.

  • marion


    The Spurs have good wins on the road this season so far. At Utah, At Oklahoma City, and At Denver.

    You can only play whose on the schedule and it better get as many wins as possible and build your confidence up.

    I must admit I have seen more whining from Spurs fans from the team this season with a 25-3 record than I ever have seen. It feels the Spurs are 3-25 instead.


  • andy

    December 22nd, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    check for zone analysis. priutti does a really great job breaking down what works and doesn´t against and for a zone.

    want to check out the podcast but don´t have the time. in for a long bus ride after playing around in manu´s old gym. fantastic.