Grades: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks – Game #60

The San Antonio Spurs lost their 15th consecutive contest on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks. The Spurs kept it close at the beginning but eventually lost contact before succumbing by a final score of 142-116. The loss drops San Antonio to 14-46 on the season, while Dallas improved to 32-29 with the victory.

Through three quarters, the Spurs were still within earshot. Unfortunately, the Mavs expanded a 99-90 lead entering the fourth quarter by beginning the period on an 11-2 run. San Antonio never threatened again.

Overall, this was an expected outcome. The Spurs showed signs of fight but ultimately the talent disparity caught up to them. 

Spurs at Mavericks – Final Grades

spurs mavericks grades

Keldon Johnson

There was a lot to like with how Johnson played against the Mavericks. He relentlessly attacked the rim, finished with physicality and touch, and got to the free throw line eight times. His passing, as evidenced by his seven assists, was much better and much more aware than usual. Defensively, while his man-to-man defense was nothing special, he helped out by pulling down eight boards. Sadly, Johnson’s otherwise strong performance was marred by six turnovers. Then again, Johnson was tasked with making things happen for himself and others so it’s understandable that turnovers were an issue with so much attention pointed in his direction.

Grade: B+

Malaki Branham

Branham had another outstanding performance. He’s now averaging 18.7 points per game in the month of February. On Thursday night, he was particularly magnificent in the first half. At the break, he had 14 points and four assists on 5-for-8 shooting from the floor. His movement with and without the ball was great. His passing was a plus. His pull-ups off the dribble are smooth as can be. He also exhibited an impressive amount of power when finishing in the paint. Branham is just a very, very mature scorer for a 19-year-old. The rookie cooled off a bit in the second half but there were still glimpses of his vast scoring potential.

Grade: A-

Zach Collins

I thought Collins did well. He was strong on the boards, held his ground in the paint well and avoided needless fouls. Defensively, he was a step slow at times but he was generally in the right spots. Offensively, he missed a handful of makeable shots but otherwise he was very solid. He passed it well, took care of the ball and moved with purpose.

Grade: B+

Devonte’ Graham

The good: Graham utilized craftiness to get to the free throw line six times. His speed and court vision were the main reasons why he finished with five assists. He only turned it over once in 28 minutes and shot well from three-point range. The bad: Defensively, Graham really struggled. He was weak on the ball and even worse away from the ball. Offensively, he needed to be more aggressive and less skittish. If he’s not actively spreading the court as a volume three-point shooter, it’s difficult to justify his presence on the court.

Grade: C-

Keita Bates-Diop

Bates-Diop played well, for the most part. He’s not hesitating on threes and he’s driving the ball to the rim with a healthy amount of desperation. Bates-Diop’s rebounding was also a plus. Areas he could have done better: his defensive rotations were painfully slow, he missed too many open passes and he could have run harder in transition.

Grade: B-

Doug McDermott

McDermott was having major issues on the defensive end. Even more issues than usual. The Mavs were seeking him out and scoring easily when McDermott was involved in the action. Offensively, he was fine. McDermott didn’t hit a three but he scored off of movement and unselfishly found teammates when cracks appeared. 

Grade: C+

Blake Wesley

I really liked what I saw out of Wesley. The kid is fearless, he’s a blur in the open court and he oozes confidence. His five fouls and three turnovers in 21 minutes help to paint the picture of how chaotic he is out there on the hardwood. But, honestly, Wesley playing with boundless and unashamed energy is good for his development right now. The rookie is willing to try anything — which is part of the reason why I think he has a high ceiling as a basketball player. If he can figure it all out, he has the physical tools and the natural self-assuredness to be a force of nature.

Grade: A-

Charles Bassey

Bassey’s numbers look great — but they were inflated. He was 5-for-5 in garbage time and five of his seven boards came in the fourth quarter. I did like the confidence Bassey illustrated when he attempted and made a three-pointer. He also showed flashes of perimeter mobility and court vision. But, yeah, don’t look at the stats and think Bassey had a breakthrough performance.

Grade: B-

Dominick Barlow

Barlow played 16 minutes. Unfortunately, he didn’t do a whole lot. He had a dunk in transition, he battled on the boards and he picked up three fouls — that was about it. The rookie looked lost at times on both ends of the court, which is obviously understandable for a 19-year-old who didn’t really play organized basketball last season. I liked Barlow’s physicality and liveliness but his tangible impact on the game was minimal.

Grade: B-

Gorgui Dieng

Dieng got enough garbage time to miss a couple three-pointers and do something other Diengian things. 

Grade: Inc.


I can’t complain with how Pop coached the game. Giving minutes to Branham, Wesley and Barlow while keeping things competitive for about three quarters was nice. Running plays to get Branham going also worked out well.

Grade: B+