The Dallas Mavericks, refuse to go down; they fought back at the OKC Thunder and barely stole away key road win to level their NBA Playoffs series. The series are now tied 1-1, with game the next two games to be played at Dallas.
A couple of days ago we had compared NBA Playoffs bets to the Dallas mavericks to setting money on fire. It was a metaphor that was intended to explain that this team is limited on offense and defense and had, perhaps the toughest if not impossible road to the Western Conference Finals (the Rockets are also at a similar position). After pulling away a valuable win from OKC and moving the series back to Dallas it seems that the Mavericks could take charge. However, if you check the facts of last night’s game, you will see that this win really doesn’t change much.
While the Mavericks were able to beat one of the toughest teams in the west at home, The Thunder played their worst game in a long time. Their star player, Kevin Durant tied Michael Jordan’s most infamous record for more misses in a single game with 26. This, alongside a lack of help from the rest of the Thunder’s offense caused for a huge window of opportunity for Dallas to sneak it. That is a capital sin in the NBA Playoffs.
Oklahoma City shouldn’t have lost this game and now they are forced to win at least one on the road against a motivated Dallas team. Good news for them is that in their last two games at Dallas, the Thunder won, and before last night’s game they had a 5 game winning streak, scoring more than 100 points.
Oklahoma is a team that scores a lot and often. They have in Westbrook and Durant two reliable players that will produce points. In Game 2, KD had a rare off night, but he is not likely to have the same problem two games in a row. Also this team is experienced in NBA Playoffs scenarios and still is a dangerous unit to contain. The newly posted game lines for Game three holds OKC as -8 favorites, despite losing.
Game 2 was a rare case of everything going wrong for OKC: KD was off, Westbrook was not able to have his pregame ritual undisturbed (thanks to Charlie V), and the possible winning basket at the buzzer by Adams (and his manly moustache) was ruled invalid after the refs reviewed the replay. Even still, the Thunder only managed to lose by one point. They are going to Dallas with the mission of taking both games and sealing the deal at game 5 at Oklahoma.
What can Dallas do to prevent what seems to be inevitable? Well, keep Durant missing and somehow stop Russell Westbrook. That is not something that the average team in the NBA can do in the regular season, much less in the NBA Playoffs. Thunder will win Game 3 by at least a 15-point margin.