Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are gunning for another win in the series after downing the LA Clippers in Game 1. What adjustments will the Clippers employ to avoid a 0-2 series deficit?
Catch this game live on Wednesday, May 26, at 10:30, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: LA Clippers (0-1, 0-1 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
The key to success in Game 2 for the Clippers looks quite simple: get better shooting numbers from their two stars.
In their 113-103 home loss to the Mavs in Game 1, the Clippers saw Kawhi Leonard and Paul George shot just 17 of 40 from the field and 3 of 14 from deep together. Don’t expect the Clippers to limit the shots of their superstars, though, as it’s clear that they’d go as far as where Leonard and George take them.
Those two will continue to shoot, but others like Marcus Morris Sr., Reggie Jackson, and Nic Batum need to lighten the load on the shoulders of The Klaw and PG13. The Clippers didn’t do good in defending against Dallas’ shooters either, and it’s practically where they lost the game. LA hit just 11 threes to 17 by the Mavs. As a team that finished the regular sixth in the league with 14.2 3-pointers per game, the Clippers are expected to drain more this Wednesday.
One encouraging fact for those looking to bet on the Clippers is that the team is 5-0 against the spread in its last five games after losing by double-digits.
ROAD TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (1-0, 1-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Kristaps Porzingis
- C: Dwight Powell
If the Clippers thought that limiting Kristaps Porzingis would result in a win, that idea was masterfully shut down by the Mavs in Game 1.
Porzingis got hounded by Leonard for most of the game and he finished with just 14 points on an atrocious 4-of-13 shooting, but the Clippers must have forgotten about Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith. Hardaway had 21 points in Game 1, while DFS put up 18 while hitting four 3-pointers on catch-and-shoots.
Luka Doncic is going to have fun in this series finding those two waiting for quick-release shots from the outside, especially with the Clippers so focused on stopping Dallas’ European stars. Hardaway and Dorian Finney-Smith are also important defensive assets for the Mavs, with those two tasked to make life harder for Leonard and George.
The Mavericks will enter Game 3 with a 5-1 ATS record in their last six games as an underdog and 5-2 ATS in their last seven on the road.
Dallas’ win in Game 1 was far from a fluke. Although the Clippers remain a tough team to beat, Rick Carlisle appears as if he’s got the perfect game plan against LA. Take the Mavs to cover (+6.5)
Game 1 featured a grand total of four fastbreak points, with the Mavs taking just 76 shots — the fewest among all teams in their respective Game 1s. I’m feeling the Under (216.5) will hit again.