We, and one particular MMB contributor in particular, owe Jason Kidd an apology. The Mavericks have turned themselves into a legitimate defensive juggernaut and Kidd is at least partly responsible for the turnaround. Kristaps Porzingis regaining most of his lateral quickness and Maxi Kleber being relatively healthy have certainly helped but the scheme is putting them in positions to succeed. Even Dwight Powell, yes Dwight Powell, looks better on that end of the court. The shooting is still a huge problem but being able to gut out wins despite poor shooting splits is a pleasant surprise for this Mavericks team. On nights where the shots fall, they can beat anyone and compete with the league’s best. That notion will be put to the test tonight as they play a hobbled, but dangerous Golden State team.
Spread: Mavs +3.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Mavs +135
This Golden State team simply isn’t the same without Draymond Green. His ability to play make on one end while serving as the team’s defensive anchor has left the Warriors with a huge void in their lineup. The key to tonight’s game will be Luka’s ability to get into the paint and wreak havoc. Kevon Looney is a solid rim defender but should be no match for Luka. Expect a ton of Luka/Porzingis pick and rolls where Luka’s defender will stick with Porzingis in order to keep Looney near the paint. Asking Looney to stay with Porzingis would create huge driving lanes for Luka. Instead, look for Looney to stay with Luka with a third defender coming over in an attempt to block off the paint. Luka should have a ton of assist opportunities. It will fall on our shooters to hit open threes in rhythm. Thus far, they haven’t been up to the task on a night-to-night basis but a regression to the mean has to come at some point, right? Hopefully, tonight is the start of a positive upswing in terms of shooting splits for players like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock.
ADVICE: Take the Mavs and sprinkle a little extra on the moneyline.
The Under in Mavericks game has cashed more often than not the past few weeks. If you want to play the percentages and believe Curry is unlikely to break out of his funk tonight, the play is clear.
Advice: Take the Under
Two-Team Moneyline Parlay
Advice: The Rockets have been playing much better basketball the past two weeks or so. Against the Spurs, they are a live underdog.