The Golden State Warriors will attempt to finish off the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals, after Dallas managed to avoid a sweep by winning the previous game at home. This time, however, the Mavs will have to face the Chase Center crowd.
Golden State dominated this series until Game 4, which was not a huge surprise, given the fact that the Warriors are the better team and they match up very well with Dallas (I talked about this in my first preview of the series).
Credit to the Mavs for avoiding the sweep, and now there are talks about them possibly having a chance to be the first team to come back from 0-3 down in the NBA playoffs, but I believe that is just gibberish and fantasy.
Dallas really did nothing special in Game 4 and I am tempted to say that their 119-109 victory two nights ago was the least impressive blowout (if we can call it that) I have ever seen. The Mavs almost blew a 29 point 4th quarter lead to the Warriors bench, which closed the gap to 8 points with over three minutes to go.
Not only that, but even the Mavs getting that 29 point lead was not that impressive. It was no new secret gameplan, there was no new strategy involved. They played the same way as in Games 1, 2 and 3, jacking up shots from three point range almost every possession, only this time they fell – and they fell at a ridiculous rate, the Mavs were 60% from deep at one point in the third quarter and they were on pace to beat the record for most threes scored in a playoff game. Obviously, we can’t expect something like this to happen again, especially on the road.
The Warriors missed their first chance to close things out on the road in both of their previous series against Denver and Memphis, only to complete the job on their next chance, at home. I believe we will see the same scenario this time around. The Dubs have the quality, matchup and experience to put Dallas to bed here.
I was temped to back Golden State to cover the -7 point spread, I suspect this could be a blowout, but I wouldn’t want to lose if the Mavs manage to keep it close, or if they pull off a backdoor cover in garbage time. My main expectation here is a Warriors win, so I’ll go with the straight victory, even if the odds are on the low side (but fair). Prediction: Golden State Warriors – Dallas Mavericks 120 – 100.