In the Weekly Preview, we’ll take a look at the upcoming games for the San Antonio Spurs. This week, the Spurs play the Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves.
After a disastrous week in which they went 1-3, the San Antonio Spurs hopes of making the playoff for the 23rd straight season appear to be all but extinguished. The Spurs lone win was by a single point against the Charlotte Hornets, while they lost to the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers.
San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks
Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 PM CT
Last Meeting: Spurs 103, Mavericks 109
The Dallas Mavericks are seventh in the West. They are undefeated against the Spurs this season, having gone 3-0. Tuesday’s matchup will be the final one between the two rivals this year.
Kristaps Porzingis as of late has been playing his best basketball since putting on a Mavs uniform. Over his last ten games, he’s been averaging 24.8 points on 44.8% shooting from the floor. While the trade for Porzingis raised some eyebrows at the time, it is clearly paying off. Combine that with the superb play of Luka Doncic and you have yourself a team that is a lock to make the playoffs.
Speaking of Doncic, the Spurs will need to be ready to double-team him if he gets going. He is averaging a whopping 30.7 points and 11 assists against the Spurs this year.
The absence of LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl has really hurt the team lately. Having such a thin frontcourt won’t bode well against Porzingis and company. While Dallas has already won the season series, you would hope the Spurs will put up a good fight and get on the scoreboard with a win at home against a bitter rival.
San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets
Friday March 13, 7:30 PM CT
After the Mavericks game, the Spurs will get a couple days off to regroup before facing the Denver Nuggets. While the Nuggets are just a game out of the second seed in the West, their play recently has been very up and down. They are currently 5-5 in their last ten games.
The Spurs and Nuggets aren’t strangers to each other after last season’s gripping seven-game playoff series. The Nuggets took the first content this season, overcoming a strong start by San Antonio. The Nuggets have recently dropped contests against the Cavaliers, while also getting blown out by the Warriors and Clippers.
The Nuggets once had a top 10 defense but since the All-Star break they have plummeted to 29th. The Spurs will be catching them at the right time but will need to be wary of Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Murray is having a career best year in points (18.6) and field goal percentage (45.5%).
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. San Antonio Spurs
Saturday, March 14, 7:30 PM CT
Last Meeting: Spurs 101, Timberwolves 113
The Timberwolves have had a very disappointing season so far. They are just 19-44, second worst conference in the West. They are 3-7 in their last ten games.
The Timberwolves recently traded Andrew Wiggins for D’Angelo Russell so the Spurs will be looking at a different Wolves team compared to their last matchup. However, a lot of the Timberwolves lackluster play this year comes from Karl-Anthony Towns’ horrible defense. He has a woeful defensive rating of 115.4, and ranks towards the bottom of the NBA in points given up in the paint.
As bad as Towns is defensively, he is still a double-double machine, averaging 26.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Unfortunately for the Wolves, he is out for a few more weeks with a fractured wrist. The Spurs will be on the second night of a back-to-back and, with such an injured frontline, this will be a tough game. Players like Bryn Forbes will need to step up, as he had a poor 3-for-13 shooting performance last time he faced Minnesota.
No use in hiding it, the Spurs playoff hopes are dwindling, and murmurs of a tank job have already begun. Perhaps Pop will start to go all in on the youth — who are experiencing their own growing pains. In what is the worst season San Antonio has had in over 20 years, maybe the young guns will shine a light on an otherwise dark campaign.