TNT gets a good one tonight in its only game of the evening. The Dallas Mavericks take on the Golden State Warriors with a 9:30 p.m. ET tip-off at Oracle Arena and the line suggests that it will be a competitive matchup. Golden State is -2.5 with a total of 224.5 with the fine folks at Bookmaker Sportsbook.
As the playoffs draw near, both teams have a lot on the line. Golden State enters the day in the #10 spot, which is the final playoff position for the play-in tournament. Dallas is the #6 seed, which is the final cut-off to avoid the play-in tournament. The Warriors do have four games on the #11 seed New Orleans, due in large part to a 7-3 run over the last 10 games.
Let’s break down both sides of this one and isolate a pick on the game.
The Mavericks are the #6 seed, but they are only 33-27, a sign of just how much parity the NBA has for what seems like the first time in a long time. Dallas is playing at one of the slowest paces in the league, while Golden State is second in pace, so we’ll see if the Warriors can make the Mavs uncomfortable here and have success doing that.
The two teams played each other on February 4 and February 6 and both games flew over the total with a 147-116 Warriors win in the first one and a 134-132 Mavericks victory in the second one.
The two-headed monster of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis is a big reason why Dallas is in a playoff position, but Porzingis is doubtful for tonight’s game with a sprained ankle. He rolled it in the win over the Lakers on Thursday. It was just the fourth time this season that Porzingis played in a back-to-back and you can bet he won’t play another one the rest of the way, unless one happens in the playoffs for some reason.
Doncic has a lot of load to shoulder again tonight. Not only is Porzingis likely sidelined, but Josh Richardson is likely to miss this game as well. Doncic fills up the stat sheet nightly with 28.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per contest. The supporting cast has been in a state of flux most of the season, as Doncic has started 55 games and nobody else has started more than 49.
Richardson has started all 48 that he has played, but if he can’t go tonight, Dallas will have to shift gears once again. Dallas is third in 2P% offense and ninth in made three-pointers, though that comes with the 19th-ranked 3P%.
One area of concern for Dallas is forcing turnovers. The Mavs are 29th in TO%, so while they take excellent care of the ball, they don’t take it away much.
Golden State Warriors
Judging by how Stephen Curry has played of late, taking the ball away from him is about the only way to stop him. Curry is averaging 31.3 points per game for the season, but he’s gone nuclear of late. He’s scored 38.1 PPG in the month of April, including five games in excess of 40 points and one game in excess of 50 points.
On the whole, the Warriors are a really pedestrian team. As mentioned, they’re a 10 seed and have a NetRtg of exactly 0.0. The Warriors remain a solid offensive team for the most part, especially from three-point land, but they don’t get a lot of second-chance opportunities with a poor offensive rebounding rate. Golden State has also sent opponents to the line more often than anybody else in the league.
The Warriors’ depth will take another hit tonight with Kent Bazemore under COVID-19 protocols. He hasn’t been that big of a factor in limited minutes anyway, but the Warriors are also without Damion Lee and Eric Paschall. James Wiseman is also out after suffering a torn meniscus. The Warriors are the walking wounded right now, yet they are still favored in this game. That sure says a lot about what Curry has been able to achieve.
Andrew Wiggins has scored double figures in every game but one in the month of April, but has scored fewer points per game than he did in March. Head coach Steve Kerr would have liked to see more from Wiggins based on the injury situations for the Warriors, but his field goal percentage has taken a big hit with more attention paid to his whereabouts.
The Warriors have a rest advantage here, as Dallas lost to Sacramento last night and now has this back-to-back. Teams with one day of rest versus teams with zero rest have won 55.5% of the time this season, but are only 48.8% ATS.
Mavericks vs. Warriors Pick
Dallas’s loss to Sacramento in a very winnable game should give the Mavericks a heightened sense of urgency in this one. Both teams are dealing with some injuries right now, but have been forced to adjust to playing under those conditions. The Warriors are playing better and Curry has been playing out of this world, hence the line, but Dallas has more to play for tonight.
NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks