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SOUTHWEST
Sam Amick
December 05, 2011
SAN ANTONIO SPURS (61--21)
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December 05, 2011

Southwest

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SAN ANTONIO SPURS (61--21)

What they've got

San Antonio is hoping to get one more ring out of Tim Duncan, Manu GinĂ³bili and Tony Parker. While they looked like eventual world champs during a 57--13 start last season, their six-game upset at the hands of the Grizzlies in the first round might have marked the end of an era.

What they need

The Spurs need to figure out the fate of small forward Richard Jefferson and power forward Antonio McDyess. Even if they don't use the amnesty provision on Jefferson (three years and $30.5 million remaining), the clause makes it easier to move him; his contract would be seen as an expiring one. McDyess hinted at retirement at the end of last season but has not said definitely what he will do. Rookie forward Kawhi Leonard, out of San Diego State, will help but not enough to offset the loss of guard George Hill, who was traded to the Pacers in June.

Bottom line

The Spurs will win on most nights, but they won't win it all.

DALLAS MAVERICKS (57--25)

What they've got

Core players Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry and Brendan Haywood will be back, but a few of their running mates are unlikely to be on hand to collect their rings on opening day.

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