The Western Conference finals tip off Wednesday night, with the Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks squaring off. While many might've expected the Warriors to make it this far given their championship pedigree and stacked roster, not many saw the Mavericks getting past the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the previous round to get here. But the Mavericks showed everyone why they shouldn't be written off, and while Golden State may be favored in this series, Dallas has proven in the playoffs so far that it can not only compete with the Warriors, but also have a chance to win this round.
In preparation for Game 1, here's everything you need to know.
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(3) Golden State Warriors vs. (4) Dallas Mavericks
- When: Wednesday, May 18 | 9 p.m. ET
- Where: Chase Center -- San Francisco, California
- TV: TNT | Live stream: TNT app
- Odds: GS -225; DAL +185; O/U 214.5 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
Warriors: We've seen glimpses of the world-beating Warriors in the first two rounds of the playoffs, but we've also seen significant stretches where this team just ends up beating itself. Turnovers and stagnant offense have cost Golden State a couple games en route to the West finals, and against a tough defense like the Mavericks, the Warriors can't afford to take their eye off the ball to open this series. It'll be interesting to see how the Warriors game plan for Luka Doncic, who has shown so far that he's essentially unguardable. But if Golden State can limit the production from those surrounding Doncic, then the Warriors should win this game.
Mavericks: We know Doncic is going to get his points, he's been doing it throughout the entirety of the postseason. In the three games the Mavericks lost to the Suns, Doncic had to carry an unsustainable load on offense as those around him struggled to knock down shots. Dallas needs guys like Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock and Spencer Dinwiddie to remain productive and consistent, otherwise they could get blown out by the Warriors. However, if just a few of those guys put up their season averages against Golden State, and can play stingy defense on the other end, then Dallas has a path to steal a win on the road.
Game 1's always tend to favor the home team, and the Warriors have been unstoppable at home in the playoffs so far. They've only lost one home game in the postseason this year, and I don't expect them to pick up a loss Wednesday night either as they try to set to tone for the rest of the series. The pick: Warriors ML