San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks: Postgame Grades and Analysis

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    The San Antonio Spurs (24-8) deepened the hole that the Dallas Mavericks (12-19) dug for themselves with a 111-86 win Sunday night, beating them for the second time since the return of Dirk Nowitzki.

    Dallas was just flat-out unable to keep up with the offensive pace that San Antonio was pushing. It's not that they weren't able to run with them, just that they weren't able to make shots with them.

    It seemed like every time Dallas would go on a mini-run, San Antonio would just nonchalantly knock down a few three-pointers, using one of many players. Each time Dallas tried to cut into the lead, San Antonio would take the points back, using brain over brawn, skill over athleticism and ball movement galore.

    San Antonio was San Antonio. That's really the best way to explain it.

    In the end, Dallas just might be a decent team once Dirk works his way back into the starting lineup, but by the time that happens, it might just be too late.

Point Guard: Tony Parker vs. Darren Collison

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    Tony Parker: B+

    We tend to expect a lot of Tony Parker on a nightly basis, and rightfully so. He's the rightful leader of this Spurs team.

    Sunday night was just another very good night in the basketball career of Parker.

    He scored 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting, to go along with nine assists and five rebounds. His four turnovers wasn't ideal, but they didn't kill the Spurs either. 

    Darren Collison: A-

    As one of the few efficient members of the Mavericks, Darren Collison continues to prove to Rick Carlisle why he should have never been benched in the first place.

    After his huge performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder a few nights back, he put up an all-around solid game against San Antonio.

    His 18 points led the Mavericks, and he knocked it in on 9-of-13 shooting, going along with eight assists, five rebounds and a steal.

    He continues to vacillate between proving he's a legitimate starter and mental lapses, but he's slowly getting there.

Shooting Guard: Danny Green vs. O.J. Mayo

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    Danny Green: C+

    As far as role players go, San Antonio might just have four or five of the best of them in the NBA. And Danny Green as a spot-up shooter who can play some defense in the starting lineup is starting to look like a very dangerous piece.

    He shot just 3-of-7 from the floor, but two of them were three-pointers and led to eight points. The two blocks he had were also impressive.

    O.J. Mayo: C-

    O.J. Mayo is slumping, and it's really starting to hurt the Mavericks.

    In the five games leading up to this Spurs matchup, Mayo topped out at 15 points against the Denver Nuggets, but not once did he shoot over 50 percent in those five games.

    This was another bad one.

    Mayo ended with eight points in 31 minutes on an atrocious 4-of-14 shooting night. His one rebound and two assists didn't add much, but the two steals he walked away with were a nice enough touch.

Small Forward: Kawhi Leonard vs. Vince Carter

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    Kawhi Leonard: C+

    For what they expect him to do, Leonard had a fine night for the Spurs, although a bit more offensive productivity would be nice.

    Leonard put up just five points, but continued to help spread the floor on offense while keeping the defensive intensity high, grabbing seven rebounds and a steal in his 28 minutes of floor time.

    Vince Carter: B-

    It continues to befuddle me that Vince Carter remains such a productive player in the NBA, and the fact that the Mavericks rely on him could end up being their downfall.

    Against San Antonio, he wasn't great.

    Aside from the usual case of lazy, ineffective defense, Carter scored just 13 points with one of his four three-pointers falling.

    Otherwise, Carter added in four rebounds, an assist and a steal. He just seems too outmatched athletically to be playing the small forward spot in today's NBA.

    I would never be confident if Vince Carter were a big part of my rotation, even if he was hitting his shots.

Power Forward: Tim Duncan vs. Shawn Marion

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    Tim Duncan: B+

    It's going to be hard for any team to slow down Tim Duncan this season; he's just playing with too much confidence in his recovered state.

    He no longer looks like the slowed, depressing Duncan that was laboring around the court last season, and there's even a bit of pep in his step.

    Eighteen points and 10 rebounds is a good enough line on its own. Add in the fact that he shot 7-of-14 from the floor and added in three blocks, and Duncan's night gets that much better.

    He had a huge first half defensively, helping to demoralize the Mavs early with blocked shots and tipped passes, getting the Spurs out to an early lead.

    Shawn Marion: C+

    Like Vince Carter, Shawn Marion has lost a lot in the athleticism area. That and his lack of size were on display Sunday night.

    Marion was unable to put in any of his shots, missing all four he took, and scored two points on free throws.

    Defensively, he still brings enough energy to be effective on that end of the court, pulling down seven rebounds, grabbing a steal and blocking three shots. But when asked to cover someone faster than him, like Kawhi Leonard, it was rough sailing.

Center: Tiago Splitter vs. Chris Kaman

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    Tiago Splitter: B

    It's strange, but sometimes Tiago Splitter has really solid nights, even when it seems like he's having a bad night.

    There were a few instances offensively that stuck out where he made a bad turnover (he had three in all), but they didn't stack up and they didn't kill the Spurs in the end.

    He ended this one with 13 points and six rebounds, going along with an assist and two steals.

    Chris Kaman: B

    Kaman continues to be a productive members of the Dallas Mavericks, even if he doesn't bring a lot on the defensive end.

    His 6-of-12 mark from the floor kept pace with what he's been doing all season long, netting him 13 points and two assists. Kaman was also able to pull in nine rebounds, four of which were offensive, which was a very impressive find for the big man in the loss.

    He didn't have the huge impact to keep the Mavs in the game, but he played well enough on his own.

Sixth Man: Manu Ginobili vs. Elton Brand

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    Manu Ginobili: A

    Give Manu Ginobili a big chunk of the love for keeping the Mavericks out of this one in the second half.

    When it looked like the Mavs were going to take a run in the third quarter, Ginobili went out and had what was perhaps his best quarter of the season.

    In just over six minutes in the third, Ginobili put in two three-pointers, both ridiculously long buzzer-beaters, to total 10 points in the quarter.

    He finished with 20 points overall on 6-of-12 shooting with five rebounds and five assists.

    Elton Brand: A

    It was going to take a lot more than Elton Brand playing well for the Mavs to win this game, but at least he can say that he kept his end of the bargain.

    Brand was everywhere on the glass, pulling down 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes, adding an impressive 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting.

    If they can get that out of Brand on a consistent basis, this Mavericks bench could be a fine unit in the future. They just need some consistency all around.


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    San Antonio: B+

    As usual, San Antonio's bench was magnificent.

    Manu Ginobili had a very good night, while the rest of the bench was able to play the role they fit into, mostly knocking down three-pointers.

    The bench shot a combined 15-of-27, dropping in 46 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

    Basically, they did everything they needed to do in order to contribute to the game, and then some.

    Dallas: D+

    If it weren't for Elton Brand, the Mavs bench wouldn't have had much positive to speak of on the night.

    Dirk Nowitzki was only able to score on three of his nine shots, putting in eight points on the evening, and Jae Crowder was able to throw in a few garbage-time buckets. The rest of the bench was lackluster.

    Aside from Brand's 14, the bench put up just 18 points, making a hideous seven of their 30 shots.

    Brandan Wright topped the worst of the worst, missing an impressive four shots in four minutes of garbage time.