Many, many words are on this site about this series. It’s hard and becoming harder to write more, particularly about looking ahead.
With that said, I’ll try. This will be short and sweet. In fact, I recommend looking around the site, we’ve written a great deal on the past few games if what I have here doesn’t do it for you.
So, just a single thought to consider until later on tonight
Can the Dallas Mavericks close out this series tonight?
Going by the regular season numbers, the Mavericks should not be in this series. The minutes that Kawhi Leonard and Paul George played together had an offensive rating of 125 and a defensive rating of 107. That is... insane. It’s hard to contextualize how the Mavericks had no business in being in these games if the regular season was a guide.
It clearly wasn’t though, with the Mavericks up 3-2 in the series. They’ve won two games on the strength of absurd shooting as a team and a through a combination of luck, third quarter defense, and Luka Doncic being perhaps the best player alive at the moment.
How do they win the fourth? There’s been some reasonable back and forth in the comments that the Mavericks have not stolen a single game in this series, that they’ve won these games and that’s all that matters. I agree. How or why Dallas won is absolutely secondary to the fact that they won.
It’s been 10 years since they were in this position. Everything else feels tertiary. Can they close? Can Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a shot? Will the Clippers forget about Kristaps Porzingis long enough for him to make some kind of sustained impact? Will Dorian Finney-Smith hit a shot? Can Jalen Brunson pass? Can Luka Dončić hit a free throw? So many questions and yet the Mavericks are in a position to win a series all the same.
There’s no pressure, this is all house money at this point. They remain the underdog. By hook or by crook it’s time for the Mavericks to go and take this thing. Let’s go Mavs.
How to watch
The Dallas Mavericks play at 8 p.m. CST on ESPN
Here’s the game 5 Locker Room, we didnt have enough time for a preview pod. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.