Western Conference Finals Preview: Warriors vs. Mavericks

Series Tips Off Wednesday Evening at Chase Center
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WARRIORS BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
For the first time since 2019, the Warriors are back in the Western Conference Finals. The Dubs advanced to the third round by winning their conference semifinals matchup with the Grizzlies in six games, and they’ll match up against the Dallas Mavericks, who are coming off a Game 7 victory on Sunday in Phoenix.

The Warriors-Mavericks series will tip off on Wednesday at Chase Center, and all games in this series will tip off at 6 p.m., with the lone exception being a potential Game 7 that would begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day). The Dubs will host Games 1 and 2 at Chase Center before the series shifts to Dallas for Games 3 and 4. If necessary, a Game 5 would be back in San Francisco, Game 6 at Dallas and Game 7 would be at Chase Center.

The Warriors went 53-29 in the regular season for third place in the Western Conference, one game ahead of Dallas (52-30) in the standings. That one game wound up being significant, as it’s the reason why the Warriors are hosting the first two games of this series. The Dubs have gone a perfect 6-0 at home this postseason and have also won a road game in each of their first two postseason series, extending their streak of 25 consecutive playoff series – dating back to 2013 – with at least one road win.

A LOOK BACK AT THE CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
Both the Warriors and Mavericks come into the Western Conference Finals after going through grinding tests in their second round series. The Warriors held the Grizzlies to 35 percent shooting and accumulated 70 rebounds in Wednesday’s series-clinching 110-96 victory at Chase Center. The Dubs held Memphis to below 100 points in two of the final three games of that series, and offensively three different Warriors players – Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole and Klay Thompson – scored at least 30 points in a game against Memphis. Draymond Green led the Dubs in assists and rebounds during their six-game series with the Grizzlies, and Andrew Wiggins was a model of consistency, scoring between 16 and 18 points five times in the six-game series. And Looney saved his best game of the series for last, grabbing 22 rebounds and dishing out five assists (both postseason career-highs) in the win.

The Mavericks overcame series deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 on the way to winning their seven-game series with the Suns. Luka Doncic played at an MVP-level in that series, averaging over 30 points a game while also leading the team in assists (7.0 apg) and rebounding (9.9 rpg). Jalen Brunson was a solid secondary scorer for Dallas and Spencer Dinwiddie had some big moments as well, but the big story out of Dallas was their defense. The Mavs held the Suns, who during the regular season was fifth in the NBA with 114.8 points per game, to below 40 percent shooting during each of the last two games, holding them to 90 or fewer points in each of those contests.

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW DAL
PTS: 114.2 (1st) PTS: 106.2 (10th)
REB: 43.8 (6th) REB: 36.9 (15th)
AST: 27.8 (1st) AST: 18.4 (15th)

HISTORY WITH THE MAVERICKS
This year’s Western Conference Finals matchup will mark the second-ever postseason matchup between the Warriors and Mavericks. The first one was an all-time classic in Warriors lore, as the 2007 ‘We Believe’ squad became the first No. 8 seed in NBA history to beat a No. 1 seed in a best-of-seven series. But in more recent matchups, the Mavs have had the upper hand, winning nine of the last 11 head-to-head meetings between the two teams, including three of four this season.

PREVIOUS GAME STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and Kevon Looney
DAL: Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock and Dwight Powell

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Otto Porter Jr. (right foot soreness) is probable. Gary Payton II (fractured left elbow), Andre Iguodala (left cervical disc injury) and James Wiseman (right knee injury management) are out. Team Notes

DAL: Tim Hardaway Jr. (left foot surgery) is out. Team Notes

MATCHING UP WITH DALLAS
When the Warriors and Mavericks met during the regular season, no lead was safe on either side. On Feb. 27, the Dubs lost a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 107-101 home defeat, and on March 3 in Dallas, the Warriors overcame a 17-point deficit before Dallas ultimately put the game away in the fourth quarter.

In the playoffs, the Warriors and Mavs have put up very similar numbers in terms of efficiencies. Both clubs have posted a defensive rating of 110.5 points allowed per 100 possessions, and Dallas is fourth in offensive rating (114.5 points per 100 possessions) with the Warriors right behind them (114.3). And both teams have relied on the 3-point shot, with Dallas leading the league in both 3-pointers made (15.5) and attempted (40.3) per game this postseason, and the Warriors are in third in both categories.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW DAL
PTS: Curry (26.9) PTS: Doncic (31.5)
REB: Green (7.2) REB: Doncic (10.1)
AST: Green (6.6) AST: Doncic (6.6)

DALLAS SCOUTING REPORT
No team has played more games than the Mavs (13) this postseason. Luka Doncic missed the first three games of the Mavs’ playoff run with a strained left calf, but he has played as well as anyone this postseason since his return. Doncic has been the team’s leading scorer in nine of his 10 playoff games played. Jalen Brunson was the team’s leading scorer with Doncic sidelined and has increased in scoring average from the regular season by over 6.5 points in the postseason. Five Mavericks players have made at least 2.0 3-pointers per game, so even if the Dubs can contain Doncic, there are still other Mavs players who are capable of filling it up. Dallas played at the slowest pace in the league and averaged the third fewest turnovers in the league during the regular season. If the Warriors can’t speed them up, they’ll have to do what the Suns couldn’t and find a way to beat the Mavs at their own game.

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