The Golden State Warriors are looking to continue on their path to their first NBA Finals since 2019, and now have a chance to go 3-0 against the upstart Dallas Mavericks. Can the Mavericks make the necessary adjustments to prevent that from happening?
Catch the game live on Monday, May 23 at 9:00 AM Manila Time.
ROAD TEAM: Golden State Warriors (2-0, 0-0 road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Steph Curry
- SG: Klay Thompson
- SF: Andrew Wiggins
- PF: Draymond Green
- C: Kevon Looney
The Warriors won Game 2 by committee. While they were led by Steph Curry, who had 32 points, eight rebounds and five assists, they got massive contributions from the rest of the squad. The other two splash brothers, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole, also combined for 38 points while shooting at least 60% from the field.
They got another big performance from Kevon Looney, who scored a career-high 21 points and also chipped in 12 rebounds in a strong blue-collar effort that is starting to become the norm instead of an aberration. Andrew Wiggins also had a workman-like performance with 16 points, five rebounds and five assists, and his increasing aggressiveness is making the Warriors even harder to defend.
What the Warriors really did well to get themselves back in the game was avoiding falling into the trap of trying to come back with just three-pointers. They absolutely outclassed the Mavericks in the paint, outscoring them 62-30 in that area while also winning the rebounding battle 43-30. Because both teams are similarly undersized, without any true centers available, hustle and effort are what decided the game.
Now that the Warriors understand that they can bully the Mavericks in the paint, they may look to do a lot more of that in Game 3.
HOME TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (0-2, 0-0 home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Jalen Brunson
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: Dwight Powell
Things were going swimmingly for the Mavericks in the first half. They shot a blistering 15 of 27 from three, which saw them enter halftime with a 72-58 lead. At that point, it really looked like they were going to beat the Warriors at their own game as they had as much as a 19-point lead in the first half.
Unfortunately, things unravelled quickly in the second half because the threes simply stopped falling. They shot 2 of 13 from distance in the third quarter, which led to them getting outscored 25-13. You simply cannot allow the Warriors to get that close in a high-stakes game, because their championship pedigree dictates that they know how to win close ones.
Dallas really lived and died by the three, and they have got to figure out how to do a better job of defending the paint and getting their own buckets in there when the threes stop falling. Jalen Brunson, who had 20 points at halftime, only managed 11 more points the rest of the game and was also a defensive liability.
Luka Doncic was his usual brilliant self with 42 points, five rebounds, eight assists, three steals and a block with just two turnovers, but the Warriors showed how much more important it is to really on a balanced offense instead of a single player’s dominance. The Mavericks bench was outscored 36-13 by the Warriors’ reserves, and that’s not going to cut it if they want to win Game 3.
Spread: I think that the Warriors smell blood, and hit the +2.5 spread.
Over/Under: The Mavericks probably won’t have as much trouble scoring in the second half again, so I think the over 218 hits.