First Round Western Conference Playoffs
Game 1: Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers
The Mavericks enter the playoffs as the 7th seed with a 43-32 record. The Clippers are the 2nd seed with a 49-23 record.
Los Angeles took all three games between the teams this season by an average of 11 points.
They are a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 230.
Dallas is led by perhaps the best all-around player in the league in Luka Doncic.
He is averaging 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game.
Kristaps Porzingis provided a great second scoring option, scoring over 20 per game with 9.5 rebounds.
Tim Hardaway Jr chips in with over 15 per game, while sharpshooters Seth Curry and Trey Burke both hit around 45 percent from three-point range.
Los Angeles has a dynamic duo of their own in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Leonard averaged 27.1 points per game this season to go along with seven rebounds and nearly five assists.
Despite missing time due to injury, George adds 21.5 per night while hitting 41 percent from beyond the arc.
Montrezl Harrell quietly adds nearly 19 points per game, and sixth-man Lou Williams averages 18.2 per game.
Ivica Zubac leads the team in rebounding at 7.5 per game,
while Reggie Jackson and Marcus Morris cause opponents fits from long range.
Comparing the team statistics, the Clippers and Mavericks are both in the top five in scoring.
Both teams are solid defensively with the Clippers allowing 109.9 per game and the Mavericks 112.1.
There is very little separating the teams on the boards as well with the Clippers holding a 47.7 to 46.9 per game edge.
The Mavericks have a decisive advantage in ball control,
turning the ball over the least times per game in the league at 12.1, while the Clippers turn it over over 14 times per game.
The fact that the Clippers have won all three meetings is a bit surprising if only examining the team statistics, since they are very even.
However, they are significantly deeper and that is what will make the difference.
Look for a high scoring game since both teams rank in the top five in scoring, and both should surpass their averages here…therefore taking the over is a smart play.
Dallas will put up a good fight, but the Clippers have too much depth and will win and cover.