WHEN: Saturday, December 22; 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: Oracle Arena — Oakland, CA
WATCH: NBCSBA, FSSW
LISTEN: 95.7 The Game
Blog Buddy: Mavs Moneyball
Oh my goodness, I haven’t waited for a Warriors-Mavs game with this much excitement since the 2007 playoffs (shout out to the “We Believe” squad).
The last time we saw Dallas,they overcame the Dubs in the final minute of a close game, 112-109. Kevin Durant and former Dub Harrison Barnes dueled each other, with KD outscoring HB 32-23. However, Durant struggled against Barnes’ defense late in the fourth quarter and couldn’t seal the deal.
Mavs rookie Luka Doncic did though, capping his 24 point performance with the go ahead bucket in Dallas.
Luka gives us the lead! pic.twitter.com/2dk0O28vTW— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) November 18, 2018
Doncic has been on a tear this season and is a clear leader for Rookie of the Year honors so far. CBS Sports’ rookie power rankings had glowing words for the 19-year old phenom:
He’s clearly starting to get his bearings as a scorer, and that is opening up all sorts of passing lanes for him to utilize his uncanny vision. Luka dropped a career-high 32 points against the Clippers on Thursday (surpassing the previous career high of 28 he set two games prior), and it wasn’t even the total, but the way that he got his points that was so impressive. After being hounded by Avery Bradley and Patrick Beverley for the first half, Doncic was much more surgical in the second, using his size to get where he wanted on the court, using his ball-handling and angles to get space and draw fouls
He’s averaging 18.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.9 assists in his first season. He is really making the Mavs legit! With Dallas point guard Dennis Smith Jr. questionable for Saturday’s contest with a wrist injury, Doncic may have to continue putting up big numbers for Dallas to get two straight wins against the champs.
The State of Golden State
Smith Jr. may not play in this game due to a wrist injury, but Warriors point guard Stephen Curry surely will. Curry missed the matchup between these two teams with a groin strain injury, and will look to help the Dubs’ exact some measure of revenge in Oakland.
Since Curry’s return from injury, he’s averaging 28.2 points per game on 48% shooting from the field (45% from beyond the arc). He is coming off of a 32 point performance against Utah on Wednesday, but it was for naught as the Warriors lost that game. The Warriors’ leader wasn’t too happy in the aftermath, and spoke of the team needing to return back to their dominant ways.
Steph Curry on his 21-11 Warriors, sitting in the 3rd seed: "The margin for error is a little bit smaller this year. Continue to get everybody's best shot. It's been a grind. Nothing comfortable about the position we're in. We want to get back to being dominant."— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 20, 2018
The team won’t have big men Damian Jones or DeMarcus Cousins for this matchup, so it will be interesting to see how the team deals with hyperathletic Dallas center DeAndre Jordan. He’s coming off of a 22 rebound performance against the L.A. Clippers, and could easily ravage the champs on the boards if they aren’t focused and physical.
Gold-Blooded Prediction: This will be the first time Curry shares the floor with the rookie sensation known as Doncic. There’s no way Curry’s going to allow the charismatic Doncic to steal the show in Oracle. I look for Curry to go for 35 points and get Oracle rocking on a Saturday night.
Warriors 119, Mavs 110