Boy, the Dallas Mavericks sure do seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongues ahead of this tilt against the Warriors. Probably because of the legacy of the 2007 playoffs and no other reason. Well, anyway, Luka Doncic will miss the game with the heel injury he sustained against the Pelicans, but it luckily doesn’t seem to be serious. Spencer Dinwiddie has also been sidelined with knee soreness. They join Maxi Kleber and Christian Wood on the injured list. Are you ready for some Josh Green?!
In the meantime, the Warriors will bring a largely healthy squad and a 19-6 home record to try and dispose of a banged-up Mavs team. On paper, it’s a tall order for Dallas, but their M.O. this season has seemingly been to do the exact opposite of what’s expected, so who knows!
Green’s green light
The step Josh Green has taken this season has been something Dallas badly needed. His energetic defense is working in tandem with a more decisive, attacking, and efficient offense. In college, his ability to finish at the rim was lousy – one of the worst in the draft at his position. His improvement in that area in particular has been astounding.
Finally having worked himself into a full-time rotation spot, this is a game where we’ll see how much more he can accomplish with a much longer leash. With Doncic, Wood, and Dinwiddie out, there are a lot of shot attempts that need to be filled, and if Green looks solid with increased volume, it could be a bright spot in what might be a less-than-competitive game.
Pour it on
The Warriors are sitting at ninth in the West and are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, but the middling record isn’t for lack of scoring. Over that span, Golden State leads the league in three-point shot percentage, shooting a wild 42% as a team. And, by the way, nearly 47% of the shots they take are from three. You can see how things might get out of hand.
Dallas will have to defend with everything they’ve got to keep the splash brothers subdued, but a little negative shooting variance in their favor would probably help even more.
Slop ‘em up
For years, Dallas has been one of the slowest, most methodical half-court offenses in the league. Not much has changed this season as the Mavericks once again find themselves second to last in pace. But for as plodding as Dallas can be, it benefits them when it comes to protecting the ball. They have the second-fewest turnovers per game over the last 10.
It’s nearly the exact opposite for the Warriors, who play with the highest pace and have generated the fourth-most possessions so far this season. With that, though, comes the second-worst turnover ratio in the league.
Dallas likely won’t be able to slow the game down quite as much without their Half-court commando in Doncic, but if they can play under control while taking advantage of some sloppy Golden State play when the opportunity presents itself, they could bank some easy points. They’ll need it!
How to watch
You can broadcast or stream the game on ABC at 7:30 CST.