Slightly Banged Up Spurs Take On Mavericks
Tony Parker’s back, the back of Manu Ginobili’s calf. All of a sudden, the San Antonio Spurs aren’t at full strength with less than a week to go in the regular season. As far as we know, these aren’t really serious injuries. Hell, we don’t even know whether Ginobili will play tonight.
The Spurs really just need to win two of their final four games to lock up the number one seed throughout the playoffs. We know Parker is out for tonight’s game, but Ginobili is a curious case. If the Spurs can win their next two games, they can get guys like Parker, Ginobili and Tim Duncan six or seven days of rest before the playoffs begin. However, playing Ginobili tonight brings a higher risk of aggravating the calf injury. But with Parker already out, you want as many playmakers available to break down Dallas’ terrible defense.
While this game would mean some to the Spurs, it’s nearly a must-win for the Mavs. As of Thursday morning, they are the seventh seen in the Western Conference, just a half game ahead of eighth place Phoenix and one game behind sixth place Golden State. This game will have a gigantic impact on not only their seeding, but whether they actually make the playoffs. While ESPN’s Hollinger playoff odds give them an 85 percent chance of making the playoffs, they’re still only 1 1/2 games ahead of the ninth place Memphis Grizzlies. So a loss or two in a row could swing those odds against the Mavs real fast.
The last time I said the Spurs were facing a team in a must win situation they went out and smashed Golden State. San Antonio also tends to respond pretty well to poor performances. Having said that, Dallas has won four in a row and seven of their last 10 games. They’re playing really well right now and they’re playing with purpose. The Spurs are 3-0 against the Mavs this year and on paper should win tonight. Still, don’t sleep on Dallas, especially at home.
Tip-off from Dallas is set for 7 p.m. Any Spurs fans in the Metroplex can get seats for tonight’s game by visiting our friends at TiqIQ.