Post game: Warriors demolish Mavs to open Western Conference Finals
Big nights from Poole, Green
[Ignore the text in that tweet above, it was just a gif that I bookmarked because Substack is so weird about putting gifs as header images]
The Golden State Warriors, as it turns out, have plenty of answers for this Dallas Mavericks team, and their star player. Led by the defensive free safety that is Draymond Green, and the point-of-attack defense of Andrew Wiggins, it was all Golden State in game one. Doncic finished with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in 35 grueling minutes of play, but the Mavericks looked discombobulated like one of those commercials that are trying to sell a cereal organizing system of tupperware or something.
Wiggins was probably the player of the night tonight, he was everywhere on both ends of the court, and frequently matched up directly against Doncic’s offense. It was a huge change from their last series, and was just about as solid of a game one win as one could ask for.
Famously, I wasn’t at all into it when Wiggins first arrived, but after making his first All Star game, and leaning into the Two Way Wiggs moniker, I feel like tonight was one of those moments that will redeem Wiggins reputation to a lot of people.
…or not. Maybe they’ll just make a bunch of excuses.
Anyways, big win for Golden State. They torched the Mavericks with Kerrball. A polar opposite to the iso hunting that the Phoenix Suns were attempting, this is an entirely different animal, and one that coach Jason Kidd is going to be doing a lot of thinking about while staring at his depth chart. Hand waving fans aside, Luka got clamped up by Wiggins and the Warriors tonight.
Golden State didn’t have a great shooting night, but will happily live with the results if they can hold down Dallas like this again. As a team, the Mavericks shot just 36% as a team, including a measly 11 of 48 from deep (23%).
The Mavericks will go back to the drawing board, but they’ve got one day off to figure this out.
The problem I saw was that Luka couldn’t easily switch away from Wiggins. The Golden State coaching staff and core players have a long history of dealing with teams and players that try to spam pick-and-rolls to hunt mismatches, and with Wiggins refusing to concede the switch, it left Doncic with limited options.
Beyond the scheme consideration, it also might very well just come down to the fact that Wiggins is an excellent defender; and with the focused support of the rest of the Warriors he’s well positioned to make this series hell for the Mavs’ biggest weapon.
Both teams get one day to rest up and get back into the lab ahead of what is sure to be a feisty game two in San Francisco on Friday.
Send some positive vibes Klay’s way please
I don’t have a ton to say on this, but when Klay hurts, Dub Nation hurts with him. Hug your loved ones, and tell them them how awesome they are, because nothing is permanent in this world.
I haven't gone through all the comments, but has anyone pointed out that even if the Mavs had hit a respectable % of their 3's they still would have fallen short? The lead was up to thirty at one point which was how many more threes?--here, let me do the math...
I thought the D was awesome. Yeah they missed some open looks, but there were also a lot of contested 3's including at least two that were blocked.
But what had me really excited was the absolute roasting of Dallas weaker defenders. They took it to Luka. Powell was useless out there. And they utterly abused Bertans in the short minutes he was out there.
That was always part of the Warriors secret sauce. Destroy the weak links early in the series, and get them excised from the rotation. If you end up in a tough series the guys that they really have to ride (Kleber, DFS, Bullock) hopefully will be gassed from overuse and won't hit as many shots.