Dallas Mavericks: Minnesota Steals Win, Game 5 Preview

The Mavs need P.J. Washington to provide double digit points on Thursday night. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

How Did We Get Here?
The Dallas Mavericks had a chance to sweep the Timberwolves on Tuesday night and celebrate on their own court that they were heading to the NBA Finals. The Timberwolves had other plans. Timberwolves shooting guard Anthony Edwards scored 29 points on 11 for 25 shooting from the field and 5 of 8 from the free throw line. Karl-Anthony Townes added 26 points and hit a clutch 3-pointer to end the dreams of a Game 4 Dallas celebration at home. Game 5 is in Minneapolis on Thursday night and the crowd will be hostile. Dallas can pull this off if they get back to the basics of rebounding, creating turnovers and hitting free throws. It seems like anytime the Mavericks get out rebounded they lose. Game 5 will be a huge test for Dallas. The Boston Celtics took care of the Pacers and have plenty of time to rest. The winner of this series will need to play solid for the rest of this series and get key young players healthy to complete this series and contend for a championship. Mavericks forward Luka Doncic recorded another triple-double with 28 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Dallas has gotten away from Kyrie Irving controlling the ball in the 4th quarter to facilitate the offense and control the shot clock. Look for the Mavericks to return to this recipe in Game 5 to bring it home.

On The Road Again!
Dallas has proven that they can win on the road. The key for this team is playing solid on the defensive end of the court. Sure, Dallas can come out hoisting 3-pointers and give up easy fast break points, but the law in distance shooting is, “A long shot equals a long rebound”. Dallas can’t afford to always fall behind by 10+ points. It gives the other team confidence and that’s not good. Dallas will need to get a lead and control the clock. Another problem for Dallas is key injured players. Center Dereck Lively III has been a spark plug off the bench. In his absence Dallas lost the rebounding war by 2 boards and had given away easy buckets in the paint. Look for back up veteran Dwight Powell to get those minutes. He’s touch in the paint but hasn’t had a lot of playing time this year. Guards Dante Exum, Josh Green and Jaden Hardy has logged heavy minutes while Tim Hardaway, Jr. Has been sitting out game and out of the rotation. Dallas could easily win Game 5 if they play hard and smart on both ends of the floor.

Dallas Mavericks vs Minnesota Timberwolves
Date: May 30
Time: 7:30 PM
It would’ve been so cool for the Mavericks to sweep Minnesota and celebrate at home heading to the NBA Finals against Boston! The Timberwolves young stars showed up and spoiled the celebration. On the morning of the Game 4 loss, Dallas was hit by a tornado-like winds with heavy rains and power outages all over the city. Dallas didn’t give the city what they wanted but it will happen on the road in Game 5. ESPN has this game close with Dallas sitting on a 50.3% chance of winning on the road. The key for the Mavericks will be free throw shooting and rebounding. I’m taking Dallas by 4 points in a close win!
Final Score: Mavericks 109 – Timberwolves 105