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Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks Full Comparison: Can Luka Doncic Beat The Splash Brothers?

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks Full Comparison: Can Luka Doncic Beat The Splash Brothers?

The Western Conference Finals is set as the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks are set to go to battle after the Mavericks shockingly blew out the reigning Finalists, Phoenix Suns, in one of the most shocking Game 7’s in NBA history. Dallas certainly looked like a force in the West during the playoffs, as they took care of business against two very solid teams in the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns. In many ways, nobody truly thought the Mavericks would have had a shot in the dark against either the Jazz or the Suns.

Meanwhile, Golden State finished with the third seed in the Western Conference this year, ranking 13th in offense and 3rd in defense. Led by All-Star-caliber players including Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and the budding Jordan Poole, the Warriors were one of the best teams in the conference all year long. They even managed to compete before Klay Thompson returned to full-time action, and he has made them even stronger at this point. After making quick work of the Denver Nuggets in the first round and ending the Grizzlies title run in 6 games, their next target is the talented Dallas Mavericks squad led by Luka Doncic.

It is expected that this series will be exciting because both teams are strong on offense thanks to talented scorers and also exceptional on defense thanks to All-Defensive Team performers. The Mavericks have all the momentum in the world after finishing off the Suns in convincing fashion in five games, and Golden State has had plenty of rest and time to focus on the next matchup. With the Western Conference Finals around the corner, it is time to delve into the ultimate team comparison between the Warriors and Mavericks as they strive for a trip to the NBA Finals.


Starters

Warriors Starters vs. Mavericks Starters

Warriors Starting Lineup: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney

Mavericks Starting Lineup: Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell

Golden State’s starting lineup is experienced and fits very well together. Remember, this is the same core of stars that won three NBA championships in five Finals appearances. Considering how the Warriors have looked throughout the playoffs, it is likely the team will be full of confidence as the rocks of the team prepare for a showdown. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green have all been in the trenches with each other before.

Andrew Wiggins was an All-Star starter this year in the West, and he can act as a better version of Harrison Barnes in the Golden State Warriors offense because he is a better athlete and better knockdown shooter who can create his own offense. If Wiggins has a big series, the Warriors are in for some strong performances. Kevon Looney was also part of the championship teams of the past and brings size and defense in the paint alongside former Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green.

Dallas’s starting lineup also fits so well together. Luka Doncic is the best player on the team, and arguably the best player in the playoffs so far alongside Jayson Tatum. Luka is dominating the court like a young LeBron James, and he is doing it in his own way. The Slovenian is a triple-double threat every night and is unstoppable when his three-point shot is falling. Head coach Jason Kidd and Dallas management have also surrounded Luka with knockdown shooters.

Luka’s ability to create his own shots will be huge, especially when the team plays fail thanks to the elite defense from Golden State. His presence will allow fellow teammate Jalen Brunson the space to create for himself and others, and the guard has been exceptional for Dallas all year. He is averaging 22.9 PPG in the postseason, a massive jump from the 16.8 PPG he averaged in the regular season. Brunson is capable of scoring with the ball in his hands, and he will apply tons of pressure on Steph Curry throughout the series.

Finally, Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith are knockdown shooters that will be needed to make open shots and also space the floor so Luka and Brunson can drive the ball. They will also be tasked with defending Golden State’s scorers and hustle for loose balls. Finally, Dwight Powell is an active big who brings size and hustle. As great as Luka and Brunson have been especially, they cannot match with the Warriors.

Overall, Golden State is deep in every position and each player has had some big games in the previous series. Curry, Thompson, Wiggins, and Green are three All-Star players when they play well, and Looney is far more familiar with going deep in the playoffs than Dwight Powell is.

Advantage: Golden State Warriors


Bench

Warriors Bench vs. Mavericks Bench

Warriors Playoff Rotation: Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Moses Moody, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Jonathan Kuminga, Otto Porter Jr, Nemanja Bjelica

Mavericks Playoff Rotation: Spencer Dinwiddie, Frank Ntilikina, Sterling Brown, Josh Green, Davis Bertans, Marquese Chriss, Maxi Kleber 

There is no doubt that Golden State’s bench is deep and talented, especially assuming the likes of Jordan Poole and Jonothan Kuminga continue their consistent play. The Warriors always seem to find gems on the court, and each one can space the floor well and also hustle for loose balls while playing defense. Jordan Poole is an absolute monster to deal with when he makes his outside shots, and he adds another “Splash Brother” on the court alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

Kuminga has the talent to be a very good player one day, and he fits perfectly into the Warriors system as a big man who has the versatility to defend multiple positions and also run on the break. Otto Porter Jr’s numbers do not leap off the page by any means, but he is another guy that can guard multiple positions and also hustle for rebounds at the power forward spot. Adding guys like Damion Lee and Nemanja Bjelicia who can shoot, the Warriors can throw on guys to cause havoc on the court whenever they want to rest their starters.

Dallas’s bench is not quite as deep, as they mainly relied on Spencer Dinwiddie and Maxi Kleber to produce off the bench. Spencer is a capable one-on-one scorer that can also hit outside shots, so he will be absolutely critical for the Mavericks as they look to counter Jordan Poole. Kleber is a shooting big man so he must make a few threes per game to keep the defense honest. Otherwise, Dallas’ bench is quite lacking compared to Golden State and they will need to find a guy (Josh Green or Davis Bertans mainly) who can have a big game or two in the series.

Overall, Golden State has a very deep team and a host of guys that can shoot and also defend. Dallas is still building their bench by the year, and at this moment, they cannot quite match up with the defenders and shooters that the Warriors have. Golden State has a roster that is very well put together, and under Steve Kerr’s ball-movement-based system, the bench will likely be more of a factor in this series when compared to the Mavericks’ backups.

Advantage: Golden State Warriors


Coach

Steve Kerr vs. Jason Kidd

Golden State Warriors: Steve Kerr

Dallas Mavericks: Jason Kidd

Steve Kerr is a fantastic coach, and he has proven that for nearly a decade. He was the man that made the Warriors the single most dominant offensive team in the league for years, and his ball-movement philosophies have seen guys flock to the franchise to try to compete, including former MVP Kevin Durant. So far this season, Kerr has once again done a great job.

Golden State finished third in the West without Klay Thompson at 100%, and they did not miss a step in regard to continuing to move the ball and improve every player on the roster. Somehow, the Warriors and Steve Kerr have found a way to turn Jordan Poole into a Most Improved Player contender and backup guards into exceptional two-way players.

Meanwhile, Jason Kidd has blossomed into an excellent head coach. The Dallas Mavericks ranked 6th in the league in defense and surely look like an excellent team in the playoffs so far. Marcus Smart played the best defense of his career, shutting down opposing guards and also Guys know what the system is, and they are performing at a high level. The way Dallas has improved since the Kristaps Porzingis trade is a testament to Jason Kidd’s awareness of how to surround Luka Doncic with the right pieces to succeed. So far, everything Kidd has done has been absolutely spot-on with regards to his team’s play and his overall rotation.

Without question, both teams have exceptional coaches that know the game and also have the magic of motivating their players. Golden State knows what they have with Steve Kerr because he has to be one of the best coaches of all time for how he transformed the Warriors from a good team to an all-time great team when he took over. Jason Kidd has done wonders for Dallas so far, and even if he does not have the track record of Kerr, there is no denying his coaching magic has rubbed off on his guys. As a result, this one can be called even.

Advantage: Even


Golden State Warriors Advantages

The Golden State Warriors have championship experience, even if they have not won a title since 2018. The team is basically built the same as years ago because Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are the stars that will lead out a group of talented two-way role players, including Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole. With Kerr at the helm (assuming he recovers from Covid and is cleared to return to the bench), Golden State has been through the trenches and will have no issues bringing the pain to Dallas.

If there is one thing you cannot teach in the NBA, it is the championship experience. Dallas has never been there, and Golden State has, meaning they have an immediate advantage with regard to pulling out wins in difficult games and responding to adversity. Not to mention, the Warriors have bigger names and more stars on the team.

Curry, Thompson, Green, and Wiggins are all All-Stars compared to Dallas’ one in Luka Doncic. Meanwhile, Jordan Poole will likely be an All-Star at some point and is playing some inspired basketball on offense. These are 5 big-name players that can score, defend, and share the ball unselfishly. With star power and experience, the Warriors have massive advantages.


Dallas Mavericks Advantages

The Mavericks just completed a dramatic 3-2 comeback to defeat the reigning Western Conference finalists, Phoenix Suns. They have the momentum and teach chemistry at a very high level right now, and the key players certainly performed in a critical Game 7 Sunday afternoon. Luka Doncic, outside of Steph Curry, is the most impactful player in this series. He brings size at 6’7” and some broad shoulders, meaning he will be able to handle a massive load for his team.

Not to mention, Dallas’ key role players in Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie are motivated and confident at this moment in time. Brunson has been on a tear all season long, scoring the ball with ease against opposing guards and even taking Chris Paul in multiple one-on-one situations. He is averaging 22.9 PPG and 46.7% shooting from the field so far in the postseason, fringe All-Star numbers. Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie is playing out of his mind after putting up a 30-pint performance in a closeout Game 7 against the Suns.

Dallas has Luka, which is an immediate advantage. The Slovenian is extremely talented, and because of his size, he can do a ton of things on the floor at a triple-double level better than anyone in the Warriors. The confidence levels of Brunson and Dinwiddie will also be vital as Luka looks to score when he wants and attract double-teams consistently.


This Series Will Come Down To Luka Doncic

As both teams have been absolutely exceptional on both ends of the floor in these playoffs and there are certainly a host of NBA superstars that will play, one major piece will separate the two teams. That factor is Luka Doncic because if he takes over, Golden State could be in trouble. Matching up with him will be difficult because Klay Thompson is still finding his rhythm on both ends of the floor and Andrew Wiggins is more slender than Luka.

Doncic has the talent and capabilities to single-handedly win the series for Dallas, especially when his shooters and scorers are in their rhythm. Steph is an offensive superstar, but he cannot influence a game through pure size as Luka can. Neither can Jordan Poole or Andrew Wiggins, who are both not as talented.

But if Golden State can keep tabs on Luka and force other players to beat them, they should be able to win the series because they have a greater collection of talent. Controlling Luka will be key, and they might be able to do that through double-teams.


Golden State Will Likely Come Out On Top In 6 Games Due To Their Experience And Starpower

This series will be one of the most exciting in these playoffs so far. Both sides have elite offensive players that are not afraid of playing aggressively and have scorers that are capable of making shots and leading their teams to victory. A key injury or two could massively swing the series either way, and the Warriors will be sorely missing Gary Payton II, who is a powerful defender that can be placed on Luka throughout the series. But even without GPII, the Warriors should win the series and return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019.

Golden State does not have a triple-double threat on the roster on the level of Luka Doncic, but they have a greater collection of stars that can each score 20 PPG with ease. The Warriors are also a fantastically well-coached side and have their system deeply ingrained, so they will be able to force Luka to pass the ball and not beat them single-handedly. If that happens, the Warriors have more talent in Curry, Thompson, Poole, and Wiggins to close the series in six games.

Prediction: Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks 4-2

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