On Wednesday night, the Warriors jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with a decisive victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Can the Mavericks even up the series tonight or will the Warriors head to Dallas with the 2-0 lead? What are the best ways to approach this game when looking for winning NBA picks?
Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors
Friday, May 20, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at Chase Center
Do Dallas Was Prepare Enough When This Series Star?
After two dominant performances against the Phoenix Suns to close out their series and win as underdogs, the Dallas Mavericks ran into a wall when they faced the Golden State Warriors.
After winning Game 6 and Game 7 against the Suns by a combined 70 points, the Mavericks could not adjust to the change of pace that the Warriors presented for them.
Phoenix likes to beat their defenders one-on-one, and with excellent shot creators, their offense is based on their individual brilliance.
The Warriors played in precisely the opposite manner, preferring a motion offense based on the reading and react principles that Steve Kerr learned as a player at the University of Arizona under coach Lute Olson.
The Mavericks were not ready for this dramatic shift and the game was over by the 4th quarter.
- The engine of the Mavericks offense, Luka Doncic had a rough night. Although he led the team with 20 points, he was 6-18 from the field and 3-10 from 3.
- Doncic struggled to get things going, and his inefficiency trickled down to the rest of the team. If Luka does not have a big night, this team will have problems defeating the well-rounded Warriors.
- Jalen Brunson, who was excellent against the Suns, also struggled, going 6-16 from the field and 0-5 from 3.
- The Mavericks had their opportunities in this game, but going 11-48 from 3 will not get it done.
The Mavericks live and die by the three, and when the 3-point shot isn't falling, the Mavericks have little to no hope of getting the win.
Golden State Warriors: Series Recap
What a difference a series makes. After getting pummeled in the paint by Steven Adams and Jaren Jackson Jr. against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors felt like the Mavericks rolled out the red carpet and escorted them to the rim.
After going against two of the strongest men and best rim protectors in the game, the Mavericks Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber offered little resistance to the Warriors' charge in the paint.
The Warriors were the leaders of the three-point shooting renaissance in 2015, but in 2022 they continue to adapt and stay ahead of the curve.
While Dallas took 48 three-point shots, the Warriors chose more effective high-percentage looks. The game was decided in the first three quarters. In the first three quarters, both teams had 64 field goal attempts.
In this crucial time, the Warriors shot 74.4% on 2-point attempts, while Dallas was a paltry 27% from behind the arc. The Warriors entered the 4th quarter with a 19-point lead.
The ability to adapt has been a hallmark of the Warriors' success. Since teams know that they want to shoot the three, they are running them off the three-point line.
Dallas Mavericks: Lack of Rim
Rather than struggle and force up contested looks, the Warriors are designing offensive sets to take advantage of the lack of rim protection from the Dallas Mavericks.
So while the Warriors are still one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, they are also able to curtail their strategies in order to get the win.
This is quite evident on Wednesday night when the Warriors were deadly playing an old-school style of basketball.
Draymond Green vs. Jalen Brunson
The Warriors were content to let Draymond Green cover Jalen Brunson so he could help off the ball with the other Mavericks players.
The Mavericks needed Brunson to make Draymond Green and the Warriors pay for the strategy by knocking down the open looks that he was presented with when Draymond Green cheated away from his assignment on Brunson to help out his teammates.
Brunson was not able to take advantage of these open looks, and it made the Warriors' defense able to clamp down on the rest of the Mavericks' players.
The Mavericks cannot allow the Warriors to cheat off of open three-point shooters to clog the paint and limit opportunities.
Jalen Brunson's High Expectations for Tonight
Jalen Brunson will need to have a big night in order for the Mavericks to have a chance in Game 2.
If Brunson is able to explode offensively and make the Warriors and Draymond Green pay for cheating off of open shooters, the Mavericks have a great chance to even the series.
If Jalen Brunson is not able to convert again, it gives the Warriors roaming defense too many opportunities to clog the passing lanes and stop the Dallas Mavericks' offense before it starts, and the Warriors will get another easy victory.
There are two ways to approach this game. I like the Warriors in both ways, so these bets are somewhat correlated.
First Way to Approach this Game
The first is the Golden State Warriors team total. I don't believe the Mavericks have the defensive capabilities to stop the Warriors.
The Mavericks do have a bevy of excellent perimeter defenders, but they lack rim protection behind them.
The Warriors are masters of using multiple screens in order to force switches and get their players' open looks.
The Warriors will not sit behind the three-point line but will take advantage and get to the rim when their opponents play them too close at the three-point line.
When the Warriors are able to beat their man off the dribble, be it with an excellent dribble move or simply by running through multiple screens, the paint and the rim are wide open for them to take advantage of.
I struggle to see how the Mavericks will be able to stop the Warriors' offense because they are not reliant on the highly variant three-point shots.
The Warriors are taking high percentage looks and we can count on them to convert. Our first best bet for tonight's game is the Golden State Warriors Team Total over 110.5.
Second Way to Approach this Game
I also like the Warriors to win this game. The Warriors are utterly dominant at home going 37-10 at home this year.
On the road, this will be a different story and I don't expect the Warriors to just be able to cruise through this series. Take this in mind next time you review our NBA odds board.
At home, in the Chase Center, the Warriors are the team that you want to back. As mentioned earlier, Dallas will have problems stopping the Warriors' offense.
Other than an excellent three-point shooting night, it's hard to see Dallas' path to victory.
Dallas will shoot better at home, where all the role players get a three-point shooting boost, but on the road, the Warriors are too much for this Dallas team. Our second best bet for tonight's game is the Golden State Warriors -6.5.
NBA Pick: Over 110.5 (-115) with Bovada
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