The playoffs are heating up and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for the Western Conference Finals series opener between Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks.
11:00 (AEST), Thu 19th May @ Chase Center, San Francisco
History: Played 175: Mavericks 91 V Warriors 84
Last meeting: March 3, 2022: Mavericks 122 d Warriors 113 at American Airlines Arena
Final Thoughts: Golden State v Dallas, Steph v Luka…it’s shaping as a fascinating ride in the Western Conference Finals.
The fourth-seeded Mavericks had not made it past the First Round of the playoffs since their triumph in the 2011 NBA Finals. But they overcame the Jazz in six games, before upsetting the top-seeded Suns in seven.
Dallas fought from 2-0 and 3-2 down to obliterate Phoenix late in the Semi-finals. They won Game 6 at home 113-86 and powered to a 123-90 in the decider – an NBA record for a Game 7 win on the road. Luka Doncic was immense, averaging 32.6 points, 9.7 rebounds and 7 assists. Jalen Brunson clicked into gear after a quiet start against the Suns, averaging 21.8 points per game across the last five games.
The third-seeded Warriors are back from two seasons in the playoffs wilderness (which was preceded by five straight NBA Finals appearances) and into the Conference Finals. They eliminated the Nuggets in five games and outlasted the Grizzlies in six. Steph Curry and Jordan Poole have been outstanding throughout the playoffs, while Klay Thompson (30 pts, 8 reb) and Kevon Looney (22 reb) exploded in the 110-96 Game 6 win over Memphis.
Dallas have won nine of their last 11 against Golden State, with this season’s ledger standing at 9-2 in the Mavs’ favour. They won 99-82 at home on January 5, before the Warriors turned the tables 130-92 in San Francisco three weeks later. But the Mavs prevailed 107-101 at Chase Center in late-February and 122-113 in Dallas in early-March.
The teams have met just once previously in the playoffs, with the Baron Davis-inspired Warriors taking the 2007 First Round series in six games.
The Warriors are 37-10 at home this season (27-18-2) and unbeaten in six games at Chase Center during the playoffs. The Mavericks are 26-22 on the road this season (28-20 ATS), including a 3-4 away record in the playoffs.
In terms of depth, overall offensive firepower and post-season experience, the Warriors have it all over the Mavs. And if Luka can’t dominate, Dallas have little chance. But Doncic’s staggering form means they’re a chance every time the Mavericks step on the court. The Warriors are 5.5-point favourites to take out Game 1 at home – but I’m expecting a close-fought opener.