Two dynamic duos face off in this series between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. Those duos of course are the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard and Paul George (PG3) competing against the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis .
The series will have Clippers small forward Kawhi Leonard and Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic, who are two of the best players in the entire world. Leonard seeks to be the first player ever to win 3 titles with 3 different teams, while Doncic is coming off of an incredible season in which he both dominated in and out of the bubble. In the bubble Doncic has been absolutely unstoppable averaging a mind boggling 35.4 points to go with 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Leonard and Doncic’s running mates in Paul George and Kristaps Porzingis have also been playing well for their respective teams. George averaged just a shade under 22 points per game for the Clippers this season. Kristaps meanwhile in 6 games in the bubble has been averaging 30.5 points per game and 9.5 rebounds per game. Make no doubt about it, the futures of both of these teams depend on these four men.
Earlier this season we called this bet right when we said the Clippers would clear the 4 point spread against the Mavs. So for this next face off between the teams, the clear edge goes to the Clippers.
The Clippers roster includes 6 other players outside of Leonard and George that can score 20 points on any given night. These players include Lou Williams, Marcus Morris, Montrezl Harrell, Ivica Zubac, Landry Shamet, and Reggie Jackson. The Clippers may be the deepest team in the NBA and it’s their talented depth that will most likely see them eliminate the Dallas Mavericks from the playoffs. The Clippers also have an incredible perimeter defense. Either Kawhi Leonard or Paul George or both will run the sensational Luka Doncic off the 3 point line. The match up between Marcus Morris and Kristaps Porzhingis will be crucial for both teams. If Porzinghis is able to dominate against Morris, then things will open up for Tim Hardaway Jr, Seth Curry, and Dorian Finney Smith on the outside. The Mavericks are 3rd in the NBA in scoring with 117 points per game. The Clippers are 4th in the league in scoring with 116.5 points per game. The Clippers are 3rd overall in rebounding with 47.5 boards per game.
The Aforementioned dynamic duo of Kawhi Leonard (31) and Paul George (25)have combined to average 56 points per game against the Dallas Mavericks. The result has been a 3-0 season sweep of the Mavericks. In addition to that the Mavs are giving up double figures to Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris, Lou Williams, and Landry Shamet. The Mavericks on the other hand have gotten 29 points and 7 assists per game from superstar Luka Doncic against the Clippers. However, Doncic has only managed to hit 27% of his 3’s against the Clips. Doncic’s tag team partner Porzingis has averaged 18.3 points per game against the Clippers. The Mavs also get 10.5 from shooting guard Seth Curry and 9.7 from guard Tim Hardaway Jr. Dorian Finney Smith also gave Dallas 9 points game against the Clippers.
For the Mavericks to win they most get a solid contribution from a third scorer. Doncic and Porzingis will get theirs but the key will be as to whether someone like Tim Hardaway Jr. lifts his game to another level and becomes the Mavs’ elusive third scorer. Additionally the Mavericks must force other players besides Kawhi and PG13 to beat them. Dorrian Finney Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr will have their hands full guarding Kawhi and Pg13. If they could somehow pull it off then the Mavs will force Clippers shooting guard Lou Williams, power forward Marcus Morris, and power forward Montrzel Harrell to beat them. That would be a good position for the Mavericks. The key for the Mavericks to win lies in both how well they defend LA’s dynamic duo and how much Luka and Kristaps are able to do on the offense.
The Clippers are favorites to win this series and they can do so by running Luka Doncic off of the 3 point line. They’ve done this in the previous meetings and there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do this again. Especially once Patrick Beverly comes back. Should Beverly be back this series the Mavericks would face an incredibly tough defensive perimeter made up of Leonard, George, and Beverly. Marcus Morris is also a very good defender and he should be giving Kristaps Porzingis a tough time. All in all despite Luka’s superstar powers, the Los Angeles Clippers are too deep for the Dallas Mavericks. Whether that talent comes to fruition will be shown tomorrow. That’s why they play the games.