The LA Clippers are the only team from Hollywood with a chance to make it to the second round now, after the Lakers got bounced by the Suns. The road is tough, though as they’re down 2-3 to a Mavericks team and a red-hot Luka Doncic that will now play at home for Game 6.
Catch this game live on Saturday, June 5 at 9:00 AM Manila time.
HOME TEAM: Dallas Mavericks (3-2, 0-2 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Luka Doncic
- SG: Tim Hardaway Jr
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleber
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
The Dallas Mavericks are being led by Luka Doncic who’s averaging 35 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 9.4 APG. In the games that he’s been healthy, Doncic has proven to be unstoppable.
In Game 5, he basically played Kawhi Leonard and Paul George to a draw with his 42 points, 8 rebounds and 14 assists compared to their combined 43 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
Luka’s neck strain is not looking so bad now, and he’s going to be the key to their victory. He got help from Tim Hardaway Jr. in Game 5 thanks to 20 points, but none of his other teammates hit double figures in points.
It’s clear that Luka’s greatness is what will carry this team, and if he’s healthy, there’s no reason to believe that he can’t put on another otherwordly performance. The Mavs are still patiently waiting for a big performance from Kristaps Porzingis, who had 8 points and 6 rebounds in Game 5.
The Mavericks are 5-6 ATS as the home underdog and are 21-23 ATS coming off a loss.
ROAD TEAM: LA Clippers (2-3, 2-0 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Reggie Jackson
- SG: Paul George
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
- C: Ivica Zubac
While Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are combining to average 55 PPG in the series, they faltered in crunch time in Game 5 and now face a win or go home game in front of a hostile Dallas crowd.
It’s felt like the Clippers haven’t had a vocal leader in crunch time when the games are not going their way, and that leadership problem might manifest again in Game 6.
What they need to build on though is how they got their other players involved in Game 5. Reggie Jackson shot 6 of 12 from three for 20 points and Marcus Morris Sr. had 16 points while going 4 of 8 from deep. Nicolas Batum had a pretty solid contribution too, with 10 points and 7 rebounds and a team-high plus/minus rating of +18. George had +17 and Jackson was the only other clipper to have a positive rating at +4. For context, Leonard had a -8 rating for the game.
The Clippers dominated the two games they played in Dallas, but that was with a hobbled Luka. It will be interesting to see how they deal with him defensively.
The Clippers are 17-14 ATS as the away favorite and are 15-12 ATS coming off a loss.
Spread: The Clippers are the road favorite again, but I feel like the Mavericks will buck the series trend and be the first team in this series to win a home game. Take Dallas to cover the +2.5.
Over/Under: I think this will be a scoring duel between Doncic, Leonard and George again. I expect the over 216 to hit.