Grades: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks – Game #82

The San Antonio Spurs finished the 2022-23 season with a 138-117 victory over the Dallas Mavericks to end the campaign with a 22-60 record. The Spurs and the Houston Rockets tied for the second worst record in the NBA, while the Mavs limped to a 38-44 record and missed the playoffs

Honestly, this was basically a glorified practice. The Mavs wanted to lose the game and they sat all of their best players, while the Spurs were without Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Zach Collins, Jeremy Sochan, Doug McDermott and Devonte’ Graham.

At the end of the first quarter, the good guys led 42-14. The Mavs battled back to get within single-digits but the Spurs recovered and waltzed to victory. All in all, this contest was a success. The Spurs got a lot of good play from a variety of players and they’re able to enter the offseason on a happy note.

Spurs at Mavericks – Final Grades

spurs mavericks grades

Tre Jones

Coming off of a triple-double, Jones had another strong outing against the Mavericks. In 23 minutes, he had 13 points, eight assists and played with efficiency across the board. He efforted on defense, was quick to loose balls and pushed the pace. Most notably, his ability to break down defenses and score was actually pretty impressive to end the season. That’s a skill-set he has to develop if Jones is going to be more than a limited backup point guard in this league.

Grade: A-

Malaki Branham

Branham poured in 20 points in 24 minutes. He was silky smooth within the arc, finishing 6-for-8 on two-pointers. His touch is fantastic and his footwork is crafty beyond his years. Three-point shooting, unfortunately, wasn’t as slick. He hit only 2-for-7 from deep and a couple of them weren’t close. Of note: Branham was able to end his rookie season with an average of more than ten points per game.

Grade: B+

Sandro Mamukelashvili

Mamukelashvili was a little bit out of control at times but that was usually due to him trying to make things happen. Beyond those sporadic bouts of sloppiness, he was really good. He spaced the court with his jumpers; he finished 4-for-7 on three-pointers. Mamukelashvili crashed the glass with a mean streak and provided valuable ball-handling and playmaking from the center position. As usual, he played with a contagious amount of energy. Mamukelashvili is a keeper.

Grade: A-

Julian Champagnie

Though Champagnie didn’t shoot it as straight as he has shot it recently, there were definitely bright spots to be applauded. His shot-selection was fine and he did well to find open looks. He never hesitated, even if he missed a few in a row. I also liked Champagnie’s passing and the work he did rebounding-wise. While he’s never going to be a lockdown defender, it appears as if he may be able to become at least a neutral defender.

Grade: B-

Keita Bates-Diop

I’m not sure if Bates-Diop even broke a sweat on his way to dropping 17 points in 24 minutes. He seemed to get a clean look whenever he wanted it, whether it was out on transition or within halfcourt sets. Bates-Diop hustled on both ends and his steady hand stood out against a frenetic (and, frankly, clueless) Mavericks squad.

Grade: A-

Dominick Barlow

At the beginning of the season I never thought I’d write the next sentence. Barlow was one rebound away from being the youngest player in NBA history to record a 20-20 game. Yes, Dominick Barlow. Yes, NBA history. The 19-year-old finished with 21 points, 19 rebounds and 34 minutes of outstanding play. As the numbers suggest, he was a monster on the glass and took advantage of nearly every offensive opportunity he came across. Beyond those numbers, his help defense was really good, he guarded well in transition, he moved his feet quickly out on the perimeter, he set burly screens and he made the right passes on offense. Sure, Barlow was going against a tanking Mavs team — but it was still great to see the rookie be so thoroughly dominant. Let’s hope he continues this meteoric rate of improvement.

Grade: A+

Blake Wesley

As we’ve come to expect, Wesley played a chaotic 33 minutes. He did a lot right and he did a lot wrong. He was loose with the ball, struggled to string together smart decisions and didn’t often look comfortable running the offense. That said, his court vision was expansive, he flashed natural playmaking ability, his speed was game-breaking at times and he went all out on defense. Wesley had a bumpy rookie season but there’s an outline of an NBA player if you look close enough.

Grade: B 

Gorgui Dieng

If this was Dieng’s last game in Silver and Black, he went out in style. In just 23 minutes, he tallied 13 points, ten rebounds and four assists. He brought toughness to the defensive end and a high basketball IQ to the offensive end. His aggression on both ends was praiseworthy and Dieng provided on-court leadership that made the game easier for his teammates.

Grade: B+

Romeo Langford 

Eh, Langford just hasn’t looked healthy for a long while now. He wasn’t able to impact the game on defense and did very little on offense. Langford appears to have a good attitude but it’s looking like a long-shot that he’ll be back.

Grade: D+


Strategically, it would have been smart for Pop to get a loss to lock up the second worst record in the NBA for lottery ball purposes. But, yeah, the Mavs were tanking so hard that losing this game just wasn’t possible. As it was, Pop deserves some of the credit for helping develop a platform that allowed the end of the roster to finish the season with a few games of relatively impressive basketball.

Grade: B