The Dallas Mavericks facing the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs is now all but written in stone. There’s still a brief chance the Nuggets could take the two spot, but they have to win their final two games and the Clippers have to lose theirs. It’s the matchup fans spent all season hoping to avoid. Los Angeles is 3-0 against Dallas and make Luka Doncic expend an untold amount of energy on every play. Nothing has been easy for the Mavs against them. With that in mind, here’s a look at how the Mavericks/Clippers series might play out.
The Game 1 disappointment
In this game the Mavericks will look scrappy, but Paul George and Kawhi Leonard will come out guns hot and swarm Luka Doncic every second he’s on the court. The Mavericks will hang tough for a half, but the familiar third quarter woes will be their undoing.
The Game 2 firestorm
In this game several of the Dallas Mavericks’ role players will find success from beyond the arc. Couple that with a bounce back game from Luka Doncic, and no true home court advantage in The Bubble™️, and Dallas walk away with a double digit win.
The one-wing-guy-gets-super-hot game. (This type of game gets double duty as it can apply to both Game 3 and Game 6)
In this game Seth Curry OR Tim Hardaway, Jr. (BUT NOT BOTH, NEVER BOTH) just get absolutely hot as hell and puts up an efficient 30-plus. The problem? The rest of the Mavericks role players can’t get it done and the Clippers cruise to an easy win.
The Game 4 shellacking
In this game the Clippers are firing on all cylinders. It’s apparent from the opening tip that Dallas cannot keep up when the Los Angeles Megazord is fully assembled. The Clippers win by 20-plus.
The Luka and Boban game
In this game, the Clippers are looking to close out a Mavericks team who they just embarrassed two days prior. But the Mavericks are a proud team. Through the first half, the teams are neck and neck. But then the third quarter hits and the customary slow start shoves the Mavericks into the dirt.
Rick Carlisle, with true and visible disgust, inserts Boban Marjanovic who immediately makes an impact. Boban plays 13 minutes in the second half and puts up 15 points to go along with 11 rebounds, completely changing the dynamic of the game. Down the stretch of this game, Luka Doncic repeatedly slices into the lane, finding shooters in the corners and getting himself to the free throw line. He makes eight free throws and scores 14 points in the final quarter to help seal the victory.
The Kyra Sedgwick game AKA The Closer
In this game the strength and depth of the Clippers finally wins out. Both teams play mainly to their abilities, but the Clippers’ role players just have a little more in the tank. Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson unbelievably combine for 40-plus points (INFURIATING the Mavs Moneyball slack channel) and Joakim Noah successfully harasses Kristaps Porzingis into a 7 for 22 shooting night. The Clippers win the series. Luka Doncic goes home angry, and vows to come back stronger.