NBA Western Conference Finals Prediction – Dallas vs. Golden State

NBA Western Conference Finals Prediction – Dallas vs. Golden State

No. 3 Golden State takes on No. 4 Dallas in a rare Western Conference Finals where the chalk is gone. The Warriors eliminated No. 2 Memphis in six games on Friday, while the Mavs destroyed top-seeded Phoenix in Game 7 on the road to move to the Finals. There aren’t many key injuries in this series, though Gary Payton III (elbow) might play later in the series. Otto Porter Jr. (foot) is questionable and Andre Iguodala (neck) is not likely to play.

Dallas shocked the Suns on Sunday, destroying them by 30 points. Luka Doncic (31.5ppg, 10.1pg, 6.6apg in the playoffs) is not the key. He’s going to get his numbers, but they need players like Jalen Brunson (22.9ppg, 32.1% 3pt), Spencer Dinwiddie (13.2ppg, 40% 3pt) and Dorian Finney-Smith (11.6ppg, 42.2% 3pt) will need to step up. Finney-Smith is an excellent defender, who will probably defend Klay Thompson and Steph Curry at times. The key big man for them is Maxi Kleber (10.1ppg, 4.4rpg), who is big enough to play center in this series at 6-10, 240 and has become a major factor as a defender in the postseason.

The Mavs are depending on the three-point shot (38.5% in the playoffs) to advance in the playoffs because they don’t have a physical center like a Bam Adebayo or a Joel Embiid. Good news for the Mavs is that the Warriors don’t have one either, so this will be a battle of small ball, but Doncic can also get to the basket. He’ll most likely see a lot of Draymond Green, so he’s going to need help when he drives to the basket. Defensively, Dallas is underrated, though they like to play a slower pace than Golden State does. In the regular season, they ranked last in pace of play, while the Warriors ranked 14th. In the regular season, they are allowing just 104.7 points per game (2nd) on 45.7% shooting (12th) and just 34% (4th) from beyond the arc. That perimeter defense will be critical in this series.

Golden State had a difficult time against the Grizzlies, even after Ja Morant (knee) was ruled out. But they finished them off in Game 6 on Friday. Klay Thompson was his vintage self with 30 points, but the bigger surprise was Kevon Looney come up with a career-high 22 rebounds. Because Thompson (20.4ppg, 41% 3pt in playoffs) was out with injuries, the Warriors have missed the playoffs the last two seasons. Curry (26.9ppg, 5.6apg, 36% 3pt) is having a good, but not great postseason. Fortunately for the Warriors, they’ve developed a future star in guard Jordan Poole (19.3ppg, 39.1% 3pt), who has been magnificent at times. Draymond Green (6-7, 250) is a player you cannot describe with stats or analytics. He’s the ultimate glue guy and one of the best defenders in the game, who defend Doncic most of the time. When he’s not, Andrew Wiggins (14.5pg, 6.9rpg) is capable of doing a solid job. Golden State is not the offensive juggernaut they used to be. They averaged just 1111 points (15th) per game and shot 36.4% from three-point range (8th) during the regular season. But their defense has been fantastic as they allow just 105.5 points per game on 43.8% shooting (2nd) and 33.9% from three (3rd).

Head-to-Head Matchups

(home team in CAPS)

March 3, 2022: DALLAS (-1.5) over Golden State 122-113

Feb. 27, 2022: Dallas (+3.5) over GOLDEN STATE 107-101

Jan. 25, 2022: GOLDEN STATE (-3.5) over Dallas 130-92

Jan. 5, 2022: DALLAS (+4.5) over Golden State 99-82

Series Price

(from Draft Kings)

Golden State -225

Not a great value, but the Warriors have been here before. In the regular season, they lost three of four games to Dallas, but played without Draymond Green on March 3 and without Thompson on Jan. 5. They had no Thompson and Green on Feb. 27. Golden State is flawed, but so is everyone in the playoffs. Looney’s emergence in that last game should help them on the boards as Dallas lacks a presence in the paint to hamper their “small ball” lineups.

Series Correct Score

Golden State 4-2 +450

Series Total Games

Six +200

Author Profile
Ben Hayes

Ben has been a sports writer for over 35 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for nearly 30 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13! Ben has had great success in handicapping college football, the NFL, college basketball, the NBA and MLB for 27+ years. His Twitter handle is @BenHayesWAW