Matchup of the Game: Spurs vs Mavs

The matchup of the game between the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks will be between the backup guards in Manu Ginobili and Vince Carter. Getty

The last two games Carter has been consistent against San Antonio. He's shot 50% overall in the past two games (10-20) and averaging 13ppg in 22mpg against the Spurs. Although his shooting percentage is great, he's just shooting 33% (3-9) against the team this season. His damage has been mid range. His plus-minus statistic in the two games is much worse than his shooting with a -21.5 average. The Mavericks aren't a very good team, so that's expected since it's a team stat but Carter's contributions haven't been too helpful as he's not putting up as many shots as he used to in his career. Ginobili is averaging 13ppg also for a different reason. In the first game he only scored 6 points (2-4 shooting), but dished out 9 assists to go along with 4 steals. In the second game he scored 20 points (6-12 shooting) for 20 points with 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Between those two games, Manu has averaged a +16 for the Spurs when he's been on the floor to go along with his 50% overall shooting (8-16).

What Ginobili must do on offense:

He has to attack the Mavericks on defense, especially Carter. In the prime of his career, Vince Carter wasn't known for his defense and he hasn't gotten any better as he's aged. Manu isn't as quick as he used to be, but he can still get to the basket with his craftiness and quick feet. The Mavs don't have as much depth as the Spurs do so Carter probably won't have as much energy in his legs as Manu will by the end of the game, which gives Ginobili an edge over Carter. With big men who can set good picks and being a player who thrives in a pick and roll situation, Ginobili can expose Carter's weaknesses on help defense or his late timing on recovering.

What Ginobili must do on defense:

Carter isn't as quick as he used to be either and has primarily been a jump shooter this year. Carter shouldn't be blowing past Ginobili, even with a pick and roll. He's likely to pick and pop, but he doesn't take as many shots as his other teammates to be too worried about that. Vince Carter has had vintage highlights of youthful dunks in games this season, but the Spurs are too deep for him to have the energy to try any flashy moves. If Ginobili can force Carter to put the ball down in the perimeter and get in his way to the basket while only giving him a long two point jump shot, the Spurs should be in good shape and not have to worry about a Dallas comeback if they have a lead throughout the game.

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