Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks – Game #33

Following the 2021 All-Star break, the San Antonio Spurs are back in action tonight against the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs haven’t played since Thursday, when they disappointingly dropped a game versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.

While the Mavericks are the team that entered this season with the highest expecations in the Southwest Division, it’s the Spurs who are in first place with a record of 18-14. The Mavs are in second place with a record of 18-16.

San Antonio Spurs Injury Update

The San Antonio Spurs have been short-handed as of late due to COVID-19 but they’re now almost back at full health. Rookie Devin Vassell is the only player still out. He’ll miss at least tonight’s game due to conditioning reasons.

No other player is on the injury report. LaMarcus Aldridge has missed games recently with hip and wrist injuries but he’s good to go tonight in Dallas.

San Antonio Spurs Starting Lineup

The Spurs starting lineup is no longer as clear as it was a couple weeks ago. Head coach Gregg Popovich will likely go with the starting five of Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson and Jakob Poeltl.

However, that starting lineup is far from certain. Popovich may opt to bring White along slowly after he missed time due to COVID-19 protocols. Trey Lyles started in place of Johnson in the last two games, so that may continue tonight. Lonnie Walker IV has also been starting recently and Popovich may have liked what he saw.

Aldridge could be back as the starter in place of Poeltl but that’s unlikely. There has obviously been no official announcement but appears as if Poeltl’s spot in the starting five is now permanent.

Off the bench, it’ll be interesting to see if Popovich still finds time for players like Luka Samanic and Keita Bates-Diop. When forced into unexpected playing time, both players responded well.

Spurs at Mavericks – How the Spurs can Win

Earlier in the season, the Mavericks beat the Spurs by a final score of 122-117. Superstar Luka Doncic led the way with 36 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.

For the Spurs to win tonight, they’ll need to defend Doncic a lot better. Historically, White has had some success against the Slovenian and he wasn’t available for San Antonio in the last matchup. If White can have a big night on the defensive end, the Spurs could eke out a win against their divisional rival.