The battered Mavs and Spurs once again take to the court in a heated rivalry game on Tuesday night.
It's one of the great rivalries in the NBA. Just in the last few years there have been punches thrown, arms bitten, seven-game playoff series, a genuine dislike between fanbases, and most importantly it's a rivalry that the players of the two teams acknowledge and respect. I'm of course talking the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Mavericks.
Mark Cuban has done his best to fuel the rivalry, stating that the NBA needs “bloodthirsty, intense, Yankees-Red Sox rivalries.” He’s even made it personal by saying the river walk is an “ugly-ass, muddy-watered thing”, calling Tim Duncan a crybaby, and wearing a T-shirt that read “I went to the San Antonio river walk and all I got was a rash”. He’s made no secret that he wants Mavs/Spurs to be must see TV. Back in 2006 he wrote about the rivalry on his blog.
“Great teams going at it aren’t enough to create a rivalry that generates national interest...
…The NBA doesn’t have one of those rivalries right now. We used to. The Celtics and lakers. Bulls and Knicks. Mchale clothes-lining Rambus...
…We need that in the NBA today. Our best rivalry is Kobe vs Shaq. doesnt matter what teams they are on, as long as they are playing each other. Its combustible. Anything can happen…
…Im hoping the Mavs vs Spurs can be one of those great rivalries of national interest.”
Despite Cuban’s obvious efforts to stoke the fire, the games played on the court are what made the rivalry what it is today. Since 2000, the two most winning teams in the NBA have been San Antonio and Dallas. They’ve faced off 52 times this decade, including three playoff series. Overall, San Antonio has had the better of Dallas (30-22), but the games are often close and always intense.
This season has been no different. When they last met in December, it took double overtime before San Antonio came out on top. The two face off again tomorrow in San Antonio at 7:30CT.
Even with both teams playing without key players, Jason Terry and Manu Ginobili will both be out due to injury, it figures to be another great game. Dallas currently sits 6th in the Western Conference, and a win in San Antonio will make a serious statement that they plan on not only making the playoff but even having home court advantage in the first round.
Wes Cox is a Dallas based blogger whose thoughts on the Mavs can be read daily at www.mavsmoneyball.com.