DALLAS The Dallas Mavericks aren’t falling for that trap.
The Mavs know the San Antonio Spurs lost a triple-overtime game to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, and then lost another triple-overtime game to the Portland Trailblazers on Friday.
They know Spurs guard Danny Green played 52 minutes against Memphis, and Tim Duncan played 48, Marco Belinelli played 43, Manu Ginobili played 41 and Boris Diaw played 39. They also know Green played 44 minutes against Portland, and Cory Joseph and Duncan each played 43. Early Saturday word came down that Duncan, Parker, Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills will all sit out against Dallas.
But the Mavs, in addition, know the Spurs will send five players onto the court tonight at 7:30 when the two teams collide at American Airlines Center, and San Antonio will somehow find a way to put up a productive front against Dallas.
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That’s because, as center Tyson Chandler put it: “San Antonio is San Antonio. I’ve been there before in my career and you say they’re getting too many minutes, they’re going to come in a little flat, but it does not happen.
“San Antonio is going to come in, they’re going to run their stuff, they’re going to run it hard and coach (Gregg Popovich) is going to make sure he gets the most out of whoever he puts on the floor.’’
Coach Rick Carlisle certainly has his team on guard to defend whoever Popovich decides to play tonight.
“I’m not sure who’s going to play for them – it’s always up in the air,’’ Carlisle said after Saturday morning’s shootaround. “But the bottom line is whoever they put out there you’ve got to be ready to compete at a super high level for the entire game or you’ll get embarrassed.’’
While the Spurs experienced that grueling matchup with the Blazers on Friday, the Mavs haven’t played since winning at Detroit on Wednesday. On the surface, this should be a distinct advantage for the Mavs tonight.
Or, is it?
“Of course any time you catch a team on a back-to-back, especially (a three) overtime game, you would think it was an advantage,’’ Chandler said. “But I don’t -- not against this team.
“There are guys that hasn’t played that many minutes that are going to be playing minutes, I’m sure tonight, and Pop is going to get everything out of them and their system is going to put them in a position to succeed. I don’t pay that any attention.’’
Neither does Carlisle.
“We played two overtimes in Chicago and turned around and won the next night in Milwaukee without Nowitzki,’’ Carlisle said. “So just because you’re playing overtime games doesn’t mean you’re not going to show up and play your (butt) off.
“These guys have embarrassed too many people too many times to sit back and think that anything is ever going to be easy with them regardless of who’s on the floor. So you’ve got to be ready to compete hard and compete through the shot clock.’’
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760