Southwest Division Review: November 11-17

By Connor Paden
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Nov 15, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan (21) reacts during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs – Season Record: 9-1

Week of November 11th-November 17th: 3-0

Not many people gave the Spurs much of a chance to win the Western Conference this season, and while there is still a lot of basketball to be played, they are currently the best team in the NBA. With all due respect to Indiana, San Antonio is playing the most complete game right now. They haven’t allowed 90 points in five straight games now. Tim Duncan is playing at an all-star level and Tony Parker is going to compete for MVP all season. These Spurs really look like they are on a mission and are certainly making a statement across the league.

Of course, three wins this week weren’t exactly over the NBA’s elite. The Philadelphia 76ers have cooled off considerably after their 3-0 start, and while the Washington Wizards might be a playoff team in the East, they aren’t going to win a game in San Antonio. Follow those two W’s up with a 9 point win against the NBA’s worst team, the Utah Jazz, and it wasn’t a special week by any kind. But the Spurs got their business done, and are currently on pace for a 74-8 record. This week features a tough road matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday night, which will be a good test for the Spurs.

This week: vs. Celtics, @ Grizzlies, vs. Cavaliers

Dallas Mavericks – Season Record: 6-4

Week of November 11th-November 17th: 2-1

 Overall it was a pretty solid week for the Mavericks. They beat Washington in Dallas to begin the week and finished with a good victory against the Magic in Orlando. In between the two wins was a 6-point loss to the Miami Heat in which LeBron James needed 39 points and Dwayne Wade recorded 8 steals to finally put away the resilient Mavs. Not too shabby for a team that was projected to finish middle of the table.

Monta Ellis seems to have found some new gusto with his true second chance in Dallas (that Milwaukee experience doesn’t count). Even Dirk Nowitski seems to be looking like his old self as of late with a very solid week of basketball and shooting at a high percentage. Since Dirk put a sleeve on his left knee, he is averaging 21.7 points per game and is shooting .512 from the floor. Even DeJuan Blair off the bench showed some life with 18 points in the latest victory and averaging 8.3 rebounds for the week.

A congratulations is in order for Dirk Nowitski for passing the great Jerry West for 16th on the all-time scoring list. Reggie Miller is next at the 15th spot, which Dirk should pass later this week.

This week: vs. 76ers, vs. Rockets, vs. Jazz, @ Nuggets