Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#6021 Dallas Mavericks vs.
#6022 Golden State Warriors
Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 8:05pm EDT
Oracle Arena, Oakland
Written by Jordy

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The unlikely Western Conference finals contending Dallas Mavericks (55-39-1 ATS) head on the road for a Game 1 showdown with the Golden State Warriors (46-43-4 ATS). They must call it the Footprint Center because the Mavs stepped all over the Phoenix Suns in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday night. We’ll see if they can keep the upset train rolling with the Chase Center being the next destination on Wednesday.

Mavs proving dark horses exist in the NBA

No one saw the Mavs coming.

They absolutely obliterated the No. 1-ranked Phoenix Suns in a Game 7 on the road. It serves as proof that dark horses really do exist in the NBA. But how far can these horses gallop? Could they knock off Steph Curry and the Warriors next?

They can if the Warriors keep coughing up possessions like phlegm in a bad allergy season. The team is averaging a ridiculous 15 turnovers per game, which is second only to the Houston Rockets. So far, they’ve been able to dig themselves out of their usual turnover holes with their explosive offense. For every straight punch landed from two-point range, the Warriors are ready to respond with a haymaker from 3-pointer.

They don’t just beat teams. They bury them.

The Mavs have to be ready to respond offensively, even with a top-10 defense. They have to accept the fact that the Warriors are going to get buckets. Luka Doncic is an offensive superstar, and he’s getting a big boost from Jalen Brunson and even Spencer Dinwiddie at times. The latter two have to show up on Wednesday to steal a win on the road.

Can the Warriors clean up their act?

Turnovers nearly got the Warriors into trouble against a Memphis Grizzlies team playing without star guard Ja Morant. They’re already facing an uphill battle due to their small-ball lineup. Why make it worse with sloppy offense?

Yes, we all know Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and even Jordan Poole can tear the roof off the building with their lights-out 3-point shooting. But the time could come when they dig a hole too deep for them to climb out of. Ball security should be at the forefront of their preparation for this series meeting. They’ll also need to set good traps to get the ball out of Luka Doncic’s hands.

If Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie are the ones that step up to beat them, then so be it in this series. They’re going to need to make life uncomfortable for Doncic every chance they get. They can definitely do it with the league’s No. 2-ranked defense and opposing teams averaging only 43.9 percent shooting against them.

The biggest challenge could come at the perimeter for the Warriors with the Mavs coming into this series holding opponents to only 34 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Only the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat have been better at defending the perimeter, and both of those teams are battling it out in the Eastern Conference Finals. We’re going to learn a lot about this Warriors team in this series against the Mavs.

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Steve Kerr has cleared COVID protocols, and he’s expected to be back on the floor to coach the Warriors for this matchup. Gary Payton II remains out with an elbow injury, but the defense for Golden State is anchored by a legitimate savant in Draymond Green. They’re going to be a problem defensively for Luka Doncic and company.

Opposing teams are only averaging 42.2 percent shooting at the Chase Center. They have been completely dominant on the defensive end of the floor, and they’re going to suffocate a Mavs team that leans heavily on Doncic for all of their offense.

And how is Dallas going to stop all of Golden State’s offensive firepower?

I officially make a motion to dub Jordan Poole as the third splash brother. The Warriors’ young guard is emerging into a star in his own right, while Steph Curry continues to prove why he’s the greatest shooter that’s ever played the game. Klay Thompson also started to come on a bit more later in the series against the Memphis Grizzlies. This Warriors team is starting to hit their stride, and they’re clearly made of legitimate championship mettle.

The Mavs are a bit in over their heads in this one. I’m laying the points and taking the Warriors to strike first in the series-opener.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors (-5)

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The Mavs have been one of the most underrated teams defensively this season, and yet, they continue to make plays on that end of the floor. Golden State might be loaded with offensive playmakers, but Dallas is certainly capable of making life difficult on them like the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Mavs have the second-best scoring defense in the league with opponents averaging only 104.3 points per game against them this season. They’re also averaging the least possessions in the league with 98.1 per game. They know how to slow games down to their benefit, and this game will be no different. Give me the under on Wednesday.

Prediction: Under (214.5)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast, and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY, and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys, and all the Sun Drop you can drink.