Basketball

Warriors vs Mavericks Preview

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Just days after surrendering a 26-1 4th quarter run, Golden State (43-19) gets a chance for redemption as they take on the Dallas Mavericks (37-25) for their third matchup of the season.

Golden State is currently 0-2 versus Dallas on the year, with a 17-point loss in early January and a 6-point loss just 4 days ago. Tonight’s matchup between these two is a tale of two teams in much different places right now. The Warriors are 1-4 in their last five, and 2-6 in their last eight, while Dallas is 4-1 in their last five, and 6-2 in their last eight.

Can the Warriors begin to right the ship?

What’s Going on With the Dubs?!

While nobody is panicking just yet, a rough patch at this point in the season isn’t ideal and while Draymond Green’s absence absolutely has played a role in this lackluster stretch, that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. “This was the first time I sensed there was a breakdown in our connection, and that has to be an exception rather than a rule”, said Coach Steve Kerr following their loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night. Chemistry is extremely important for all teams, but the Warriors system thrives on it and they just can’t afford to have connectivity issues.

One thing that should help the Warriors is the return of Klay Thompson. Thompson missed the last two games with a non-covid illness and although Thompson hasn’t gotten a ton of run with this Warriors squad, his talent and chemistry with Stephen Curry and Kevon Looney will play a major role in the Warriors getting back on track.

Thompson’s shooting and defense have been sorely missed over the last two contests as Golden State has struggled to shoot the ball effectively and has been unable to prevent the opposing team from doing so.

The Warriors Need Curry’s Best

Over the last two games Stephen Curry hasn’t played badly by any means – he had 27 points and 10 assists on Sunday night against Dallas and 34 points and 4 assists in Minnesota on Tuesday night, but the efficiency hasn’t quite been there. He’s 21-49 from the field over those two games. Again, it’s not bad, but Golden State needs better right now.

Dallas has one of the better defenses in the league, especially out on the perimeter as they hold opposing teams to the 4th-lowest three-point percentage in the league at 33.7% – Curry has his work cut out for him tonight. Curry was 3-10 from distance against Dallas on Sunday night and went 1-9 from three in their first matchup with Dallas.

Keys to the Game

1) Control the pace of the game

2) Win the turnover battle

3) Make life difficult for the supporting cast of Luka Doncic OR, force Doncic to have an off-night

Prediction

The Warriors will get their redemption and begin to right the ship in Dallas tonight. Draymond Green, although still absent from the floor, has joined the team in Dallas and I think you’ll see the Warriors throw come out with a Green-like edge and throw the first punch come 5:30 p.m. pacific time tonight.

Dallas plays at the slowest pace in the league and I think we might try and see the Dubs push the pace early and often. Golden State is middle of the pack in pace (16th) but they have the shooters and athletes to thrive in space. It’s going to be hard to control the pace of the game against Luka Doncic, but it’ll start on the defensive end.

The Warriors need to win the turnover battle as they are at the top of the league in turnovers per game while Dallas is one of the best at taking care of the rock. The Mavericks are towards the bottom of the league in FG% and even if the Warriors can’t force turnovers, they can get out and run by forcing missed shots.

The Mavericks are right around two-point favorites on most sportsbooks but I have the Warriors winning this one 110-104 as I think we get a big game from Curry. Look for the Warriors to come out focused and firing on all cylinders in this one but Dallas won’t just rollover. Anticipate a back and forth affair with the Warriors pulling away late for the win.

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