2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference: #3 Golden State Warriors vs #4 Dallas Mavericks
Tale of the Tape:
|111.0 (15th)||Points Per Game||108 (24th)|
|105.5 (3rd)||Points Allowed Per Game||104.7 (2nd)|
|14th||Pace of Play||30th|
|T-14th||Off Efficiency Rating||T-14th|
|1st||Def Efficiency Rating||6th|
Can’t Miss Offer From Caesars
|114.2 (1st)||Points Per Game||106.2 (10th)|
|110.2 (10th)||Points Allowed Per Game||101.9 (4th)|
|37.7% (4th)||3PT Shooting %||33.9% (3rd)|
|36.3% (9th)||Opponent 3PT Shooting %||33.9% (5th)|
|15.3 (13th)||Turnovers per game||9.4 (2nd)|
- Stephen Curry, PG: 25.5 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 38% 3PT
- Klay Thompson, SG: 20.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 2.8 APG, 38.5% 3PT
- Draymond Green, PF: 7.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 7.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 1.1 BPG
- Luka Doncic, PG: 28.4 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 8.7 APG, 1.2 SPG
- Jalen Brunson, PG: 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.8 APG, 37.3% 3PT
- Dorian Finney-Smith, PF: 11.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.9 APG, 1.1 SPG
- Otto Porter Jr., Golden State Day-to-Day (Hamstring strain)
- Gary Payton II, Golden State
Dallas wins the series 4-3
- The Mavericks won this series 3-1 during the regular season with two games being low-scoring under 208 total points and the other two coming with totals over 222 points.
- Despite their over/under totals and pacing on the season, the Warriors have played at a faster pace during the playoffs. Obviously, some of that has to do with matching up against the Grizzlies, who play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA, but the Warriors are fourth in pace in the playoffs, which will be an interesting contrast with the Mavericks, who continue to play at one of the slowest paces in the league.
- The Mavs lead the playoffs in time of possession, at 22.4 minutes of possession through their first 12 games with Luka Doncic leading the league in individual time of possession, while the Warriors rank 14th at just 20.2 minutes of possession and have nobody in the top-10 in individual possession since they move the ball so quickly and efficiently.
- Thus, it will come as no surprise that the series will likely hinge on how the Warriors’ defense handles Luka Doncic, who has been a man on a mission since missing the first two games of the playoffs. He dominated the Jazz, averaging 29.0 points on 46.9% shooting, and then took apart the Suns with 32.2 points per game on 45.7 FG% shooting.
- The Warriors will throw a variety of defenders at Doncic, led by Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, and both Porter and Payton, when they are able to return. Doncic will also be forced to work on defense against any of the Warriors’ shooting wings, Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole.
- However, Doncic has also seen his teammates step up throughout the playoffs. Jalen Brunson is averaging 22.9 points per game in the postseason, Spencer Dinwiddie had 30 points in the Game 7 win over the Suns, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 24 in the Game 4 win. Finney-Smith is shooting 35-of-83 from deep in the playoffs, and Reggie Bullock is also 35-of-90, so if Dallas’ role players can continue to rotate strong games then it will help Dallas counter Golden State’s depth.
- A big storyline will be what the Mavericks do at center. Powell started against the Suns, but he also barely played. Instead, Maxi Kleber, his backup, played the vast majority of the minutes and it’s easy to see why since he’s 29-of-49 from beyond the arc in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Forcing the Warriors to guard the three on pick-and-rolls with Doncic will work in Dallas’ favor.
- For the Warriors, they know that Dallas is going to swarm Curry with double teams or traps like they did in every regular-season matchup. However, the issue would be Jordan Poole. The second-year pro came alive at the end of the season and carried that over into the postseason. Poole is averaging 19.3 points per game on 39.1% shooting from beyond the arc, which gives this team yet another weapon alongside Thompson should the Mavs be aggressive in trying to take away Curry.
- Golden State will need to get Porter and Payton back soon though because they’ve been operating with a much shorter rotation with those guys out. Andre Iguodala is not able to play the minutes he used to and Dallas plays a lot of small lineups so heavy minutes for Kevin Looney and Jonathan Kuminga isn’t ideal for Golden State.
- I’m not sure that Dallas has the consistent depth to hold up in a full series, especially against a battle-tested team like Golden State. But I think Luka is playing at the kind of level right now that takes a team to the title game. My head is telling me that the Warriors win this, but my gut says Mavericks.