The LA Clippers have found themselves in a difficult 0-2 hole after blowing both home games against the Dallas Mavericks. They’re going to be hoping for a huge victory in Game 3, or they’ll be looking at a near-impossible task of making the second round.
Catch this game live on Saturday, May 29 at 9:30 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (2-0, 0-0 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Tim Hardaway Jr
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleber
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
The Mavericks are holding all the cards now after taking the 2-0 series lead without even playing in front of their own fans yet. Luka Doncic (35 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 9.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.5 BPG) has been playing like a world-beater this postseason and has left the Clippers reeling after leading the Mavs to two road wins. At this point, it’s hard to think of what else the man can do, as he seems to have a hand in almost all of his team’s plays.
Doncic is getting a lot of help from Tim Hardaway Jr. (24.5 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 3.0 APG) who is shooting lights-out with a 63% field goal percentage and 64.7% three-point percentage. You’ll probably expect him to cool off a bit as the series goes along and the defenses key in toward him more, but that’s not a guarantee considering how much attention Luka attracts whenever he’s on the court.
Kristaps Porzingis (17 Peg, 4.0 RPG) has been relatively quiet in the playoffs so far, but he’s still helping space the floor thanks to his shooting. He’s really got to get on the boards more, though, considering he’s 7’3”.
The Mavericks have a total of five players averaging double figures, and are collectively shooting 54.4% from the field and exactly 50% from three. They’ve kept their turnovers relatively low at 12 per game. If there was one thing to nitpick about their performance so far, it would be their free throw shooting. They averaged 66% from the charity stripe in LA, and that’s not going to cut it. There will be games when shots don’t fall, especially with how hot they’ve been, so they need to concentrate and make those free throws.
The Mavericks are 5-4 ATS as the home underdog.
ROAD TEAM: LA Clippers (0-2, 0-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Patrick Beverley
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
My oh my, how did we get to this point. With all the noise that happened after the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets last season, they’ve gone ahead and decided to up the ante and lose both of their home games.
Kawhi Leonard (33.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, 3.0 SPG) and Paul George (25.5 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.0 SPG) are combining for 59 points a game but are getting little in the way of help from the rest of their teammates. The only other person averaging double-figures is Nicolas Batum (10 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 APG) and we haven’t really seen a proper appearance from Playoff Rondo (7.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 5.5 APG).
Ivica Zubac (5.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG) and Patrick Beverley (6.5 PPG, 1.5 APG) have been pretty atrocious as well, so you’ve got to wonder what in the world is happening with the Clippers. It feels like they’re clearly missing the energy that Montrezl Harrell brought to the table last year, as his high-energy style was always good for amping up his teammates. They sure could use him this season, especially considering that he’s barely getting any playing time for the Lakers in the playoffs.
Their 32.9% clip from the three-point line isn’t great considering they attempt 36.5 of them a game, and PG has been one of the leading culprits with a 20% three-point clip on 7.5 shots a game. To be fair, Marcus Morris is shooting 18.2% off of 5.5 threes, and Reggie Jackson is also taking 5.5 a game but only making 27.3% of his takes.
The Clippers are 15-14 ATS as the road favorite.
The Clippers are the road favorite here, and they’re basically fighting for their playoff lives. I think they put up a big fight tomorrow and cover the -2.5 spread.
Kawhi Leonard and Paul George will be going all-out for a W, and they’re going to be coming up against the red-hot Mavericks. Look for the over 219 to hit.