Dirk Nowitzki is out with a knee injury against the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night, for the second straight game.
The Dallas Mavericks played Tuesday without Nowitzki,and it wasn't a pretty sight offensively. An offense that normally averages just over 98 points per game, was held to a measly 76 points against the 11-20 Toronto Raptors.
Against Toronto, not one Maverick scored at least 20 points and only three reached double figures. This was against a Raptors team that doesn't exactly have any lock down defenders in its lineup.
Facing the Spurs Thursday night, the Mavericks will go up against a different kind of animal.
San Antonio boasts the best record in the NBA and is 9-1 in their past 10 games. All basketball fans know exactly what the Spurs pride themselves on: defense.
Without their best offensive player in Dirk Nowitzki, do the Mavericks even have a shot?
The answer is no.
Sure, the Mavs have players like Jason Terry and Caron Butler that can put up 25 points any given game, but against Toronto it showed how much Dirk's offensive ability creates scoring opportunities for his teammates.
In the first meeting between the Mavs and Spurs just about a month ago, the Mavericks came away with the victory.
How many points will the Spurs win by Thursday?
In that game, Dirk went 12 of 14 from the field and scored 26 points. Butler scored eight and Terry scored 12.
Each player is going to have to double their efforts for Dallas to stay in this game.
It's a shame such an anticipated match-up won't feature a very high level of competition. Look for the Spurs to win big.