Can the Golden State Warriors avoid the same fate that the Miami Heat did last night? After taking Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series against Boston, the Heat fell flat and were pounded 127-102 at home. Game 2 for Golden State and Dallas is slated for 9 p.m. ET on TNT.
The Warriors took Game 1 112-87 as they held the Mavericks to 36% shooting from the field and 22.9% from the 3-point line. The Dubs shot a sizzling 56% from the floor and dominated the boards. Stephen Curry led six players in double-figures with 21 points and 12 rebounds, marking his first double-double of the postseason. Luka Doncic had 20 points to lead the Mavs though, he was just six-of-18 from the field and three-of-10 from beyond the arc.
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Do not expect Game 1 to be like Game 2. While the Warriors dominated the series opener, there is some cause for concern. Golden State only attempted 16 free throws and turned the ball over 15 times. Turnovers have been a problem for the Warriors all postseason and they are averaging 17.7 a game over the last seven contests. Plus, the Mavericks missed a lot of open 3-pointers and they have been shooting it well from deep throughout the postseason. One thing is for sure, the Mavs will not be afraid to launch them, as 48 of their 86 shot attempts in Game 1 were from beyond the arc.
Golden State has been terrific at home during the postseason, going 7-0 with a plus-16 scoring margin. The Warriors are averaging 116.6 points on 49.6% shooting from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc. They love to push the pace, after makes or misses, so expect them to run at every possible opportunity as the Mavs like to slow things down. As long as the Dubs limit turnovers and take good shots, they should be good on the offensive due to the plethora of weapons they have, particularly in the backcourt.
Defensively, Golden State has someone who gets after it at every position. Andrew Wiggins was sensational on that end of the floor against Doncic on Wednesday. The Warriors were the top-ranked defense all year and they are holding their opponents to an effective field goal percentage of just 50.8% in the playoffs. Plus, the Dubs do not have to worry about the Mavericks scoring much in the post. Steve Kerr does an excellent job switching defenses and prepping matchups. The key for them will be rebounding.
Dallas has had mixed results away from home. The Mavericks have lost four of their last five on the road and are 3-5 during the postseason with a minus-five scoring margin. While the Mavericks have had their moments defensively, they have had several breakdowns. The Mavs rank seventh amongst all playoff teams in defensive efficiency and seventh in defensive effective field goal percentage against.
With having homecourt advantage and their ability to defend, Golden State should win, but expect the game to be closer than Game 1. OddsShopper gives Golden State a 68% chance of winning the game, but Dallas a 51% chance of covering.
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