The Dallas Mavericks face the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Friday night, playing in San Fransisco at the Chase Center. The Warriors lead the series 1-0
There’s a relentlessness to playoff basketball that I’d forgotten about. Some of that is because this is my first time covering the team past round one. The other aspect is simply because I forget every year. The basketball keeps coming, whether you’re ready for it or not.
The Mavericks better be ready for it. After getting wiped out Wednesday night, they get another crack at it. There’s not a ton of revelatory news, but I can say that every game the Mavericks got beat by 20+ points so far this season, they came back and won the next game. So we have that trend going for us. The Warriors are currently a six point favorite though!
Now on to everything else.
The Warriors ran Dallas ragged Wednesday, turning defense into offense in a way the Mavericks had yet to experience in the playoffs. Usually, playoff basketball slows down, but in an attempt to wear out Luka Doncic, the Warriors sped things up.
It’s going to be up to Dallas to get back in transition and simply pay attention to what’s happening following makes or misses. The Mavericks looked tired and a bit shell shocked. That can’t be a reason the Mavericks fail in Game 2. This is an effort based thing in terms of defense.
Hitting some threes
Josh wrote about this following the Game 1, but it bears repeating: the first step to correcting some of the other problems Dallas had on Wednesday night starts with hitting open shots. The margin for error against the Warriors was always small, but Dallas can’t shoot themselves in the feet by open Dallas players clanging away to start the game.
The Warriors are too good at defense when they’re locked in. Dallas needs to execute the same way they did in the first quarter, only the non-Luka Doncic players need to take advantage of opportunities presented to them.
Playing Kevon Looney off the floor
This is going to be a real short series if the Warriors big man contributes like he did Wednesday. It starts by Doncic hitting shots over him when he gets the mismatch. Looney’s not the fastest guy alive, Luka’s got to simply take it to him and trim the dancing. Dwight Powell has to do more than run around too; box out and go grab the dang ball. Looney’s defense at the rim was very important to the Warriors, so Dallas needs to find a way to either get him in foul trouble or make him unplayable but punishing him on switches.
How to watch
Just like Wednesday it’s an 8:00 pm CST start, also on TNT again.
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Here’s our most recent Moneyball Minute from Friday morning. If you can’t see the embed below, click here or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball podcast.