The Dallas Mavericks will face the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 on Wednesday at 9 p.m. EDT at Chase Center.
Dallas stunned the Phoenix Suns by defeating them in seven games to get to the Conference Finals, while Golden State took down the Memphis Grizzlies in six games to get to the Conference Finals.
Most sportsbooks place the Golden State Warriors as the -4.5 point favorites in this one, with the point total set at 214.5. That being said, let’s take a look at how these two teams stack up.
Dallas Hopes to Upset Another Top-Seeded Team
In a Game 7 on the road, the Dallas Mavericks completely destroyed the top-seeded Phoenix Suns setting them up for another heavyweight matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
Luka Doncic led Dallas to a 123-90 victory over the Suns in Game 7, scoring 35 points and dishing out ten assists while leading 57-27 at halftime. Doncic had 27 points at halftime, tying Phoenix’s entire first-half score. Spencer Dinwiddie tallied 30 points in the game, while Jalen Brunson had 24.
Luka Doncic has put the Mavericks on his back, averaging 33.5 points so far in the postseason. Brunson has been a pleasant surprise with 22.9 points per game, and Dinwiddie has 13.2 points per game.
They’re also shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three in the playoffs. Additionally, their defense has been the catalyst in the playoffs shutting down a ferocious Suns squad.
Even with a top-10 defense, the Mavs must be ready to answer offensively. They must face the fact that the Warriors will score points.
Luka Doncic is a dynamic offensive player who gets help from Jalen Brunson and even Spencer Dinwiddie at times. To win on the road, the latter two must perform on Wednesday.
Warriors Look to Defend Home Court
Golden State is hoping to extend their dynasty despite missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, primarily due to key players’ injuries.
Klay Thompson and Steph Curry lead the team with 30 and 29 points per game, respectively, in Game 6 versus Memphis.
Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins both had double-doubles, with Wiggins scoring 18 points and 11 rebounds and Green scoring 14 points and 15 rebounds.
Jordan Poole had 12 points off the bench, and Kevon Looney had 22 as the big boys stepped up and earned some much-needed rest after not playing since last Friday.
The Warriors almost got themselves into trouble against a Memphis Grizzlies squad that was missing standout player Ja Morant.
Due to their small-ball squad, they will have their backs up against the wall vs. a suffocating Dallas defense. They will need to limit their turnovers drastically to compete with the Mavericks on both sides of the ball.
They went 1-3 against Dallas this season, with their lone victory coming at home, and the Mavericks won the remaining two games in February and March, just days apart.
Curry leads Golden State with 26.9 points per game, while Thompson has 20.4 points per game, and Poole has 19.3 points per game. They’ve also shot 48.3% from the field and 37.7% from the three-point range.
Mavericks/Warriors Betting Prediction
Steve Kerr has cleared COVID protocols and will be back to lead the Warriors in this one. The Warriors not only own an incredible offense, but they also will be a defensive headache for Luka Doncic and his teammates as they own the second-rated defense in the league.
The Golden State Warriors have been off since Friday night, and they will be playing at home, where they simply don’t lose. Golden State is a great home team, and I expect Curry and Thompson’s shooting to make a difference.
They also have a superb defender in Green and Wiggins who can help limit Doncic’s offense, and if they can do that, Golden State will be in good shape.
Betting Pick: Warriors -4.5
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