Spurs vs Mavericks Prediction NBA Picks Today 10/25
- Lm Tipster
- Oct 25, 2023, 1:03:29 AM
© Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs - Season Opener Preview
San Antonio; Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. EDT
Spread: Mavericks -3.5; Over/Under: 228
The NBA season opener brings a thrilling clash between the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. In this comprehensive preview, we'll dissect both teams' strengths and weaknesses, focusing on their offensive and defensive capabilities, and delve into factors that might influence the game's outcome.
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs faced a challenging season last year, finishing with a 22-60 record, struggling in the Western Conference. Their defensive woes were evident, giving up an average of 123.1 points per game.
Offensively, the Spurs had their struggles, ranking 29th in offensive rating. They excelled in assist percentage and offensive rebounding, but they lacked consistent scoring, averaging only 113.0 points per game. The team's offensive performance was hampered by a lack of efficient three-point shooting, ranking 26th in the league in this category.
San Antonio earned the top draft pick in the previous year's draft lottery, and the arrival of Victor Wembanyama is highly anticipated. While he may not be an immediate franchise savior, his size and skill have already garnered attention from NBA players. His presence, especially on the defensive end, should make a noticeable difference in the Spurs' performance.
Defensively, the Spurs are determined to rectify their issues from the previous season. The arrival of Victor Wembanyama, the towering 7'3" center, brings optimism for improved rim protection and overall defensive performance. His imposing presence is expected to make a significant impact on shot-blocking and deterring opponents in the paint.
Last season, the Spurs faced significant challenges on the defensive end. They ranked last in the league for opponent three-point shooting percentage, with teams shooting an alarming 39.1% from beyond the arc against them. Additionally, the Spurs allowed a high percentage of shots at the rim, a vulnerability they aim to address with Wembanyama's presence.
While their defensive rebounding and ability to force turnovers were below league average, having a formidable rim protector like Wembanyama should help improve their overall defensive performance.
The Dallas Mavericks had an up-and-down season last year, concluding with a 38-44 record. While their offense was formidable, their defense needed strengthening, allowing an average of 114.1 points per game.
The Mavericks possess two exceptional talents in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. These two stars are capable of taking over games, and their offensive efficiency led to a sixth-place ranking in offensive rating last season. Their ability to create scoring opportunities, both for themselves and their teammates, is a key asset for the Mavericks' offensive firepower.
One of the areas where the Mavericks excelled last season was three-point shooting. They ranked eighth in the league in three-point percentage, shooting 37.1% from beyond the arc. The return of Seth Curry for his third stint with the team further bolsters their three-point shooting capabilities.
Despite a losing record, the Mavericks were efficient in their scoring, ranking in the top 10 in shooting efficiency at all three levels: at the rim, in the mid-range, and from beyond the arc. They also excelled in protecting possessions, finishing second in the league in turnover percentage. However, they struggled in offensive rebounding and free throw percentage, areas they aim to improve upon in the upcoming season.
Defensively, the Mavericks acknowledge the need for improvement. Last season, they ranked 25th in defensive rating, indicating room for growth on the defensive end. Their opponents shot 35.2% from three-point range, a respectable mark that placed them seventh in the league. However, in most other defensive statistics, the Mavericks ranked no higher than 20th league-wide.
While the pace of their games helped mitigate some damage, per possession, the Mavericks struggled defensively. Their efforts to address these issues are evident in the offseason acquisitions of Grant Williams and Dante Exum, both known for their defensive prowess.
The combination of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving provides the Mavericks with the potential for high-scoring games. However, their defensive improvement remains a focal point to return to the success they enjoyed during their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2021-22.
Zach Collins is questionable for the Spurs while Luka Doncic is in the right direction to start this game.
The Dallas Mavericks enter this game as favorites with a -3.5 points spread, and they have a compelling case for securing a victory in the season opener.
One key factor in their favor is the offensive firepower of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. These stars are poised to exploit the Spurs' defensive vulnerabilities and put up substantial numbers. The Mavericks' efficient scoring and potential defensive improvements make them a strong pick to cover the -3.5 points spread.
While the Spurs have made efforts to bolster their defense with Wembanyama, they are still in a rebuilding phase. The Mavericks, with more experience and roster stability, are in a favorable position to secure a season-opening victory.
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Pick: Mavericks -3.5