What have the Golden State Warriors done lately?
The real question should be, what haven't they done lately? All the Warriors do is win games that they don't need to be winning. On the road against the Los Angeles Clippers and Thursday night against the Phoenix Suns, the Warriors didn't need to win those games. This is all a part of their plan for global basketball domination, and Stephen Curry is the ring leader behind it all. If he's not the MVP this year, then basketball is a game full of lies.
Those are just two wins of this 11-game winning streak Golden State is on. Not to mention the Warriors also soundly defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, at FedEx Forum on March 27 and the Atlanta Hawks at home on March 18. They not only are beating teams, but convincingly beating them, which says a lot as they head into the playoffs with the league's best record.
How do the Mavs stop Stephen Curry?
Easier said than done, considering Curry has been the Mavs' killer the last couple of years. Hell, the man even scored 51 points on Dallas back on Feb. 4, so there's really no stopping this guy.
And even if you double-team him, Curry's vision is out of this world, and he has enough weapons around him that he has no problem giving the ball up. He averages close to eight assists per game for a reason. But if the Mavericks are going to win this game, they need to hope either Rajon Rondo plays superb lockdown defense, or he just has an off night. And if he is off, that's why Klay Thompson isn't too far behind, knocking down 3-pointers and attacking the basket with reckless abandon.
Which Maverick needs to have a big game?
Barring unforeseen circumstances, there's a good chance Chandler Parsons may not play tonight, so there goes one bulk of your scoring out the window. And as much as it's going to cringe to say this, Monta Ellis needs to have the game of his life.
After Thursday, Ellis being asked to take a game over is probably out of the realm of possibility. He shot 7-of-21 against the Houston Rockets and missed four crucial free throws. There have been plenty of these games the last month or so, and it's clearly hurt the Mavs' offensive production.
The first three games have shown that Golden State has a plan for how to defend Dirk Nowitzki, and that plan is Draymond Green. His length and strength gives Dirk fits more than any other smaller defender in the league. There's a good chance Dirk will have another quiet night against the Warriors, so it'll be up to Ellis. If Ellis can be that 38-point scorer like he was against the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas has a chance to pull off the upset and make that magic number on clinching a playoff spot even smaller.
What do the Mavs need to do to be successful against the Warriors?
Pray would be a good start, but the Mavs need to be very quick and active on defense. Golden State is in that Atlanta/San Antonio status of having players do an amazing job moving without the ball. They're always lurking around the 3-point line and they're always coming off the pick-and-roll and screening towards the basket.
There are so many weapons that Golden State has at its disposal that Dallas will need to have its best defensive performance of the year. And if they can do that, then the next step is try to score in transition. When the Mavericks get out and run, Rondo is a more dangerous point guard and Ellis is a more dangerous scorer.
Time & TV
7:30 p.m. CT on FSSW