The NBA kicks off with another solid day of action on Thursday. Six games will be up on the board throughout August 6. One of these matchups will be between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. These two teams will look to earn a big win as they battle for seeding. This game will tip off at around 6:30 PM Eastern time on TNT.
Los Angeles earned a record of 45-22 throughout the season, which has them in second place of the Western Conference. The Clippers are a game ahead of the Denver Nuggets, who are in the third seed. The Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder are all within striking range as well if the Clippers continue to falter. Los Angeles will look to get back on track with a win on Thursday night.
The Mavericks have posted a record of 41-29 throughout the regular season, which has them in seventh place in the West. Dallas is two games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for the sixth seed in the West. The Mavericks are only three games back on the fourth seeded Utah Jazz. If Dallas can get a nice winning streak going to end their seeding games, they could move up in the standings.
These two teams have clinched playoff spots for this season, but are still looking to get the highest possible seed before the playoffs start. Los Angeles can no longer move up in the standings as the Lakers have clinched the top spot, but will look to avoid falling to third. I expect a solid game between these two teams as they look to earn big wins on Thursday night.
The first game of the season series between these two teams was on November 26 in Dallas. Luka Doncic had a strong performance, earning 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Kristaps Porzingis had 15 points, but it was not enough. Kawhi Leonard earned 28 points, while Paul George put up another 26 points for the Clippers. Lou Williams added 21 points off the bench in a 114-99 win for Los Angeles.
The second game of the season series stayed in Dallas on January 21. Luka Doncic had a great game, earning 36 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. Kawhi Leonard also earned 36 points and 11 rebounds. Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell combined for 28 points off the bench as the Clippers earned a pivotal 110-107 win on the road.
Both of these teams have earned records of 1-2 since they started playing in the bubble in Orlando. Neither team has quite found their rhythm coming out, but will look to get back to .500 with a win on Thursday night. I expect another exciting performance from these teams’ stars as they try and get the leg up in their fourth matchup of seeding play.
Field Goal Shooting
Los Angeles has had a solid season when it comes to shooting from the field. The Clippers have made around 46.4 percent of their shots from the field. Los Angeles has made 37 percent of their shots from behind the arc, while making 51.9 percent of their shots from in close. The Clippers will look to find a rhythm early in this matchup to have a better night from the field.
The Mavericks have been around middle of the pack shooting from the field. Dallas has made 46 percent of their shots from the field throughout the season. The Mavericks are shooting at 36.6 percent from deep, which is top ten. Dallas has the fourth best shooting percentage inside the arc though, making 54.1 percent of their shots.
These teams are pretty similar from the field, with the Clippers being slightly better this season. The big difference in this matchup though, comes from Los Angeles’ defense. The Clippers have the third best defense when it comes to opponents shooting percentage from the field. If Los Angeles can clog the lanes in this one, it will give the Clippers a huge edge.
Kawhi Leonard has done really well in his first season with Los Angeles. Leonard has averaged 27 points and 7 rebounds per game. Paul George is averaging 21.5 points per game in his first season with the Clippers. Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams continue to be threats from off the bench as well. Both Harrell and Williams are averaging 18.5 points per game.
Luka Doncic continue to bloom into a star for the Mavericks. Doncic has averaged 29 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9 assists per game this season. Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 20 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 16 points per game, while Trey Burke has averaged 14 points per game. Seth Curry helps round out the lineup, averaging 12.5 points per game.
These two teams have a solid big two that has helped lead their team to this position. Leonard and George are a bit more dangerous together, but Doncic has the ability to pop off at any given moment. Doncic is coming off a huge triple double and will look to build off of that. The Clippers will look for their bench to give them the edge though with Williams back in the lineup.
These two teams have not had ideal starts in the restart, but I expect them to come out strong in this one. The Clippers lost a heart breaker against the Suns in their last game and I expect them to bounce back. Dallas slipped away with a win off of Doncic’s strong performance on Tuesday. I believe with Los Angeles’ defense and bench; they have a good chance to take this one.
BetOnline has the Clippers listed as a -4 against the spread in this one. Los Angeles has looked good throughout the season and as they get more comfortable, they should get back to contender status. The Clippers have a good chance to shut down the Mavericks on Thursday night. As slight favorites in this one, I believe that Los Angeles has the better value.