The two best words in sports. Game 7. We have made it to one game 7 for the opening round of the NBA playoffs, and it’s happening at Staples Center. The only thing, it’s not for the team most expected. They thought the Lakers might take Phoenix to 7. Not exactly. And so, here we are, a huge, historic game set to go down.
The road team is 6-0 in the Clippers-Mavericks series, something that has never happened in the playoffs. In MLB, the 2019 World Series saw the road team go 7-0, but baseball is a different beast. This is not nearly the same, and things could not be more equal. Dallas makes adjustments to try and get an edge, but they don’t work for long enough.
The fact that the home team is yet to claim victory is both troubling and shocking at once. On the one hand, it shows that the road team can win anytime if they believe. And in the same breath, that the home team does not know how to handle having their own fans back after 1.5 seasons of not having to deal with real noise or inside pressure.
A great battle awaits. 3:30 PM ET. An early wake-up call for the players, though, with a 12:30 PM ET local start. Oh boy.
SPREAD: The spread is set at LAC -6, the over/under at 210.5 points.
Mavs Seek Historic Win
A victory for Dallas would be historic and significant for many reasons. It matters because they have not won a playoff series since beating Miami in the 2011 NBA Finals. A decade without advancing, and yet Rick Carlisle has maintained the role of head coach. There has also never been a seven-game series where the road team went undefeated.
If the Mavs want a win, they need to continue to trend. But will they start Boban again? Or is their size advantage not really an advantage? L.A. has found their way around it and found ways to make Dallas pay, finding open shooters along the perimeter that they cannot guard.
Luka Doncic will have to play practically the whole game for Dallas to have a shot. They need Kristaps Porzingis to not just get cardio but play hard, too. They can win if Luka outplays Kawhi Leonard.
Clippers Look to Break Curse
Whether or not it is a hex of a curse, the home team is winless in this round. Given that the teams met in the bubble on a neutral court last year, the new circumstances have been crazy. But one more win, and it’s over for one of these two.
The Clippers are not the fan’s choice, as they probably want Kawhi on their team. But, they have talent and face high expectations. It would be a colossal letdown if they fell short. They can win by doing just a few easy things.
Shooting the three well is key. PG making his shots will help. Kawhi scoring 35+ will come in handy. And if they can guard the perimeter. Double-team Luka in late shot-clock scenarios, too.
Clippers Win at Home
A home win? Really? Yes, that’s the pick. L.A. at home. The series ends now. It’s done.
Free Play: LAC -6
Over/Under: Over 210.5
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