Dallas Mavericks: Lead West Semifinals 3-2 vs Thunder

Mavs PG Kyrie Irving needs to take advantage of his opportunities in this series and close out the Thunder.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

I told you so! Check out my last article for some background information…

The Dallas Mavericks have a chance to move on to the Western Conference Finals with just one more win. The Oklahoma City Thunder are basically playing to extend the series and host a 7th game in Oklahoma City. This series has been one of the most physical series that Dallas has played in since their championship run against the Miami Heat in 2011. I am so surprised that Dallas is in this situation right now. History has shown us that Dallas usually folds when teams play them in a physical way and beat them on the offensive and defensive boards. The three games that Dallas won in this series they have out rebounded Oklahoma City by 4 boards across the board. When Dallas scores over 104 points during this series they have won by an average of 10+ points per game. The winner of Game 5 has a history of winning the series 86% of the time and Dallas has won their Game 5’s in their last 4 playoff series. Let’s take a closer look at Game 6 and if necessary, Game 7 in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs Dallas Mavericks
Date: May 18
Time: 7:00 PM
In Game 5, Dallas went into Oklahoma City and took that game while taking a physical beating. Dallas pulled off a 104 – 92 win by holding off the late run of the Thunder in the 4th quarter. Dallas was led by Luka Doncic with 31 points and got 19 points from forward Derrick Jones, Jr. The key was Dallas controlling the paint on both ends and out rebounding Oklahoma City by 13 boards. Dallas turned the ball over 14 times but held on for the win. Dallas will need to get more from the bench and allow PG Kyrie Irving to control the offense and run it through him. ESPN has the Mavericks 57.7% chance of winning at home and moving on to the Western Conference Finals. Here’s the crazy part of this article, Oklahoma City will put up a fight, but Dallas will close them out and get their sights ready for with Minnesota or Denver. I’m taking Dallas by 14!
Final Score: Thunder 99 – Mavericks 113

Dallas Mavericks vs Oklahoma City Thunder
— If Necessary
Date: May 20
Time: 7:30 PM
If you are reading this part of the article this means the Dallas Mavericks lost Game 6 and is in enemy territory trying to win Game 7. This game will be in the favor of the Thunder at home. Dallas will not need to win Game 7 because they will have already won Game 6, but if Dallas loses Game 6 they will win Game 7 on the road. The Mavericks at this point will struggle in their next series due to lack of rest. I’m taking Dallas by 8 in a hard fought game!
Final Score: Mavericks 119 – Thunder 112