The Dubs have swept one baseball series this year, and split the other two. Time to see if they can add another sweep.
Who: Golden State Warriors (12-10) vs. Dallas Mavericks (9-14)
When: 5:30 p.m. PT
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
TV: ABC (available through fuboTV), and on the WatchESPN app.
Projected starting lineups:
Warriors: Stephen Curry, Kelly Oubre Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Draymond Green
Mavs: Luka Dončić, Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Kristaps Porzingis
Warriors: Beat the Mavericks 147-116 — 3-2 in their last 5 games
Mavs: Lost to the Warriors 147-116 — 1-4 in their last 5 games
Team ratings (garbage-time adjusted, per Cleaning The Glass):
Warriors: 110.0 offense (20th), 110.8 defense (12th), -0.9 net (16th)
Mavs: 111.7 offense (17th), 114.4 defense (24th), -2.7 net (20th)
The Warriors win on Thursday was all about playing small. Apologies for repeating a stat that you’ve heard a hundred times by now, but Golden State didn’t have a single healthy player who was taller than Dallas’ starting point guard.
No matter. Small ball worked out brilliantly for them, on both sides of the court. The question now becomes: can they sustain it? Can they keep playing like that? Will Dallas make adjustments and start playing like they’re actually the bigger team?
The Dubs forced their style on Dallas and, just as it did in 2007, it worked wonders. But rematches are always fascinating.
Players to watch
Warrior to watch: Kelly Oubre Jr.
Oubre had not only his best game as a Warrior on Thursday, but arguably the best game of his career, with 40 points and 8 rebounds on 14-for-21 shooting.
But how does he respond? Is that a confidence builder that leads to another big game, or does he get a little over ambitious and start taking bad shots?
It seems clear that the more free-flowing style of small ball works in Oubre’s favor, so hopefully it’s the former.
Maverick to watch: Kristaps Porzingis.
The Warriors benefited from Porzingis wanting to be a guard on Thursday. Just look at this shot chart from the 7’3” Porzingis, against a 6’6” opposing center:
It shouldn’t be surprising, because that’s his game. But you have to think his teammates and coaching staff are asking him to put down the three-ball (which he’s made just 32.5% of this year) and start posting up against the undersized Dubs.
Matchup to watch: Steph Curry vs. Luka Dončić.
These two elite point guards won’t be guarding each other, but who cares. This is must-see TV.
Keys to victory
- Come out firing out of the gates and turn it into a small ball game again
- Limit Dallas’ points in the paint
- Have at least 20 transition points
- Solid performances from Kelly Oubre Jr. and Andrew Wiggins
- Make sure the free-flowing offense still finds Steph Curry
Make it a sweep, Dubs.