The Dallas Mavericks are still alive, but are they the right NBA pick for Thursday’s Game 5 versus the Golden State Warriors?
Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors
Thursday, May 26, 2022- 09:00 PM EDT at Chase Center
The Golden State Warriors were up 3-0 on the Dallas Mavericks, but Golden State’s veterans were logging heavy minutes, and the Mavericks were an easy choice after moving from –3 to –1 on the NBA odds board for Tuesday’s Game 4.
Final score: Golden State 109, Dallas 119.
Unfortunately for us here at the ranch, Golden State’s reserves went on a fourth-quarter run that helped the over the break the 215.5-point total.
Mavericks vs. Warriors: Game 5 Expectations
This brings us to Game 5 this Thursday night in San Francisco. The Warriors might be the right NBA pick now that said veterans have taken some unscheduled time off.
Then again, maybe not. Golden State opened as 7.5-point home faves at Heritage Sports before moving to –7 at press time, despite the BMR consensus reports showing 92 percent of early bettors on the Dubs.
That suggests the big bets might be on Dallas – or it could just be a small sample size, or maybe a glitch in the Matrix.
Let’s dig deep, peel back the layers, and uncover the real story behind what could be the last game of the Western Conference Finals.
Is Golden State Overrated?
Probably. FiveThirtyEight’s projections have the Warriors winning Thursday’s game by three points, which also lines up nicely with Jeff Sagarin’s numbers at The USA Today.
However, as they say in boxing, styles make fights, and Golden State’s style has them in very good shape heading into Game 5.
Even during Tuesday’s loss, the Dubs outshot Dallas 84-82 from the field and 26-22 from the charity stripe.
The difference this time was the Mavs hitting almost half their threes. Dallas went 20-for-43 (46.5 percent) from downtown, while the Warriors were a pedestrian 10-for-28 (35.7 percent).
In the wise words of “Cowboy” James Storm, sorry about your damn luck.
Will Otto Porter Jr. Play in Game 5?
Possibly. Porter Jr. is considered day-to-day heading into Thursday’s matchup, after being upgraded from doubtful to questionable just before he sat out Game 4 with a sore left foot.
As we said before, Porter Jr. has been a key contributor for the Dubs this year. His minutes would be especially valuable at this point in the postseason.
But not as valuable as they would have been Tuesday night. Because the Mavericks took such a gigantic lead in Game 4, Golden State wove the white flag and emptied their bench, giving Stephen Curry (33 minutes), Klay Thompson (28 minutes), and Draymond Green (26 minutes) a rare chance to catch their collective breath.
It was also a golden opportunity for veteran Nemanja Bjelica (15 minutes) and rookies Jonathan Kuminga (22 minutes) and Moses Moody (23 minutes) to get in some reps.
As long as the starters don’t get overtaxed, the Warriors bench should serve them well Thursday night – and into the NBA Finals.
What About Golden State’s Other Injuries?
It’s easy to overlook players like Bjelica when Golden State has their entire starting rotation intact.
But one of the big reasons the Dubs are back in title contention is the way they shored up their bench this offseason by adding Bjelica, Porter Jr., and Gary Payton II, and reuniting with the 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
Sadly, Iguodala has been in and out of the lineup this year, and he’s missed each of the last 11 games with a neck injury that requires more rehab.
And Payton (broken elbow) won’t be available for Thursday’s matchup; he’s due for a re-evaluation on Friday.
If Porter Jr. joins them on the sidelines once again for Game 5, that will leave Golden State without three of their very best defenders – according to the Defensive Box Plus/Minus stats at Basketball Reference:
- Iguodala: plus-3.7 DBPM
- Payton: plus-3.4 DBPM
- Porter Jr.: plus-2.1 DBPM
This is why it’s so important that Bjelica (plus-2.3 DBPM) is warmed up and ready for battle.
Kuminga (minus-0.2 DBPM) brings some value as an NBA-average defender; Moody (minus-1.1 DBPM) has a bit more work to do.
Mavericks vs. Warriors: Who to Bet On?
The deeper Golden State have to go into their bench, the tougher it will be for them to cover. This is why we’re still recommending Dallas for your betting picks.
However, we also recommend you make it a smaller bet now that the situation on the ground has changed for Game 5, and may the sphere be with you.
Score Prediction: Mavericks 104, Warriors 109
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.