Game info: 9:30 p.m. CT at ORACLE Arena on ESPN and FSSW
What has Golden State done lately?
Golden State has been bashing the league upside the head all season. They pretty much lead the league in everything -- net rating, points per game, defensive field goal percentage, puppies saved, assists, true shooting percentage, cancer victims cured, effective field goal percentage, defensive rating, children vaccinated. The works.
They showed a brief moment of mortality last week, dropping back-to-back games to Chicago and Utah. That Utah loss was maybe the one chance everyone all season got to point and say "LOOK, MAYBE THEY AREN'T THAAAAAAAAAAT GOOD!" and then the Warriors have won their last two games by 19 against a really good Suns team and 25 against the Kings. Yep, they put back on the white tanooki suit:
Which Warriors player might be due for a big game?
UHM. How about all of them? Is that a reasonable choice? Take your pick -- Draymond Green will probably fly around the court and disrupt Dirk and hit all his wide-open threes. Harrison Barnes will probably hit more fallaway, post-up jumpers than he's supposed to. Andrew Bogut will face off against his injury-prone-center soulmate in Tyson Chandler and probably come out unscathed while Tyson will be cremated. But come on, we know who's really gonna go off.
The Splash Bros. They'll be the Super Splash Bros. tonight. The Mavericks are without Rajon Rondo AND most likely Devin Harris (questionable after an ankle injury the other night against Minnesota). Those are the two only options the Mavs have against Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, who hit all of their shots all the time and then spend their free time eating worlds and destroying galaxies. Now the Mavs starting backcourt is looking like J.J. Barea and Monta Ellis. In relief? RAYMOND FELTON. Jesus Christ. You know how NFL commentators get really worked up during the fourth hour of Sunday pregame coverage and finally burst out "THAT'S WHY THEY PLAY THE GAMES" before they pass out? Yeah, this is why they DON'T play the games. Why even bother? The Mavericks will start a sub-six-foot point guard and a six-foot-four shooting guard against the best shooting backcourt in the NBA. Everyone have fun. We're all going to die.
Which team stat might determine the game?
Well, seeing how Golden State leads the league in every conceivable category, this one is hard. I'm gonna go ahead and go with 3-point shooting. If the Mavs don't get outscored behind the arc by a bazillion points, they might not lose by a bazillion points. That's all I got. Yeah, tonight is bleak.
What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against the Warriors?
Find a white tanooki suit? No? Ok. Uhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, give me a minute.
*turns on Taylor Swift*
*listens to Shake it Off in the dark*
OK! The Mavs actually have a chance if a couple things happen: 1.) NEED a good Dirk game. Like, Dirk needs to take the most shots on the team and MAKE MOST OF THEM. None of this 7-for-24 nonsense OR 6-for-9 BS. Dirk needs to be efficient and carry the load. 2.) Chandler Parsons CANNOT be invisible. That doesn't even mean he has to score 20 points (though that'd be nice), he just needs to be DOING stuff. I want to notice Chandler Parsons tonight, in a good way. 3.) Tyson Chandler has to grab all the rebounds. 4.) Look, Steph and Klay are gonna score a lot. The Mavs don't have any defenders to stop them, especially without Rondo and potentially Harris. So, don't let Draymond Green, Bogut, David Lee or Iggy go off. If Harrison Barnes lights up the Mavs, they'll lose by 35.
I'll be at a concert in Dallas tonight. So of course Dallas will pick up their most impressive victory on the season tonight. YOU'RE WELCOME AMERICA.