NBA schedule: Mavericks, Spurs square off in San Antonio

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks and Bulls tip off a seven-game Sunday NBA schedule, but the real jewel here is the night game between the Mavericks and Spurs.

Main Course

Dallas Mavericks vs. San Antonio Spurs

NBA TV; 7 p.m. ET

San Antonio has taken care of Dallas seven times in a row and six straight at home, including two rather easy victories already this season. Tony Parker has averaged 24 points in those two wins, but it's unclear whether or not he'll play Sunday. He has missed the last six games, but is hoping to make his comeback against the Mavericks.

Both of these teams rely heavily on the jump shot. Dallas hammers teams with pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll and eventually it leads to open jumpers; San Antonio plays a Gregg Popovich, motion offense and it too relies on the ability to knock down open shots. And both teams are very good at it, with the Spurs ranked No. 2 in the NBA in effective Field Goal percentage (.537) and the Mavericks ranked No. 4. (.524), via Basketball-Reference. San Antonio, however, is a much better defensive team. Still, this should be a fun, aesthetically pleasing game.

Appetizer

New York Knicks vs. Chicago Bulls

ABC; 1 p.m. ET

Sunday's early afternoon game is a tale of two teams heading in polar opposite directions. The Bulls have won eight of their last nine games and are six games above .500 for the first time all season. They have put together an offense that appears to have found some rhythm and their defense has always been top notch.

The Knicks, meanwhile, have looked completely lost on both ends of the floor. They don't defend, their offense is a mess and they've been stricken by the injury bug. Right now they sit six games back from Atlanta for a playoff spot, with Detroit and Cleveland still ahead of them. If they want any shot of sneaking in the bottom of the seeding, they had better get moving.

Dessert

Golden State Warriors vs. Toronto Raptors

League Pass; 4 p.m. ET

Our Sunday dessert is a fun and rare matchup between playoff teams from each conference, and both these teams have hit a bit of a stride as of late. The Warriors have won five of their last six games with their only loss coming in Chicago. They bounced back big time from that with a trouncing of the Knicks at Madison Square Garden two nights later.

Toronto has won six of its last eight; the last loss was a triple-overtime heartbreaker against the Wizards. The Raptors have made their money on the defensive end. They are surprisingly long and active on that side of the ball and their offense, led by Kyle Lowry, has scored above league average. Getting a win over the Warriors would be a nice confidence booster for the last portion of the season.

Other games

Utah Jazz vs. Indiana Pacers -- League Pass; 6 p.m. ET

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Orlando Magic -- League Pass; 6 p.m. ET

Charlotte Bobcats vs. Oklahoma City Thunder -- League Pass; 7 p.m. ET

Atlanta Hawks vs. Phoenix Suns -- League Pass; 8 p.m. ET

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