“Put Up or Shut Up!” Mavericks vs Clippers Game 7 Preview

Can Luka Doncic will the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Semifinals this year? Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers
Sunday – June 6 – 2:30 pm
Staples Center – Los Angeles, CA

I’m sitting in my office with my hot wings, tater tots, onions and ice cold drink waiting for the Mavericks to beat LA and move onto the next round. I was hoping to see Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carslile do a better job with substitutions and game management. In Game 5, Dallas went to sleep at wheel and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard went off, scoring 45 points in a Clippers win. Today, it’s Game 7 and Dallas is on the road. This could be a good thing because the road team has won every game in this series. Dallas has the undulating task of going into LA and getting redemption from last years loss to the Clippers. Let’s take a look at Game 7 and the keys to victory for the Mavericks.

Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers – Series Tied 3-3
This series has been back back and forth leaving both cities, fans and followers on edge. Dallas wins two games on the road, Clippers win two games on the road and vice versa. Today it’s Game 7 and it’s “put up or shut up” time. The key for victory is plain and simple for the Mavs “REBOUNDING and DEFENSE!”

Rebounding will keep the Clippers from getting offensive rebounds and creating second chance points. Dallas’ perimeter defense failed to stop the Clippers from shooting 42% behind the line which opened up the paint. Quality minutes from bench players kept the Mavs in the game but not able to get the win. PG Jalen Bronson needs to have more playing time, he finished Game 6 with 7 points, 4 rebounds, 4 pass deflections leading to 4 steals and 5 assists. He should be on the floor with Luka and allow Luka to move to the shooting guard position. Forward Dorian Finney-Smith is averaging 40 plus minutes a game, but he’s only scoring 9.8 points this series. He’s just out there with no output. The winner of this series will face the Utah Jazz who’s been resting and watching this series like the rest of the country.

Mavericks History Lesson
Game 7 and the Dallas Mavericks have a unique history. Overall the Lil’ Mavs are 4-2 in Game 7 showdowns. Most diehard fans will easily rattle off the losses to the Lakers in 1988 with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, the 2014 loss to the Spurs in the first round as well as the 2006 win over the hated Spurs in the Conference Semis. However, that’s only half of their Game 7 opportunities. In 2003, the Mavs went back-to-back rounds winning the all important Game 7. They defeated the Trail Blazers in the Opening Round as well as the Kings in the Conference Semifinals before losing to the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals. Lastly the Mavericks defeated the Houston Rockets in the Opening Round of the 2005 postseason in a vital Game 7 battle. 4-2 overall in Game 7 for the Mavs. The record will change with today’s outcome. Will history be on the Mavericks side? We’ll see…

ESPN has the Clippers with a 61.1% chance of winning Game 7 at home today. The over/under is 210. So take the over in this. I’m taking Dallas by 9! I like both teams, but trading road wins in this series set the tone for picking the winner. LA could easily move on the next round, but they are just like the Mavericks… “They struggle at home!”