Experience and talent matters deep in the postseason and right now, the Golden State Warriors are just playing at a level that the Dallas Mavericks cannot seem to match.
Luka Doncic is an incredible talent for the Mavericks and they have a ton of solid talents around him in Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie, but the Warriors’ dominance is showing once again and it appears as if this dynasty is not over quite yet.
The Warriors defeated the Mavericks 109-100 in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night, taking a 3-0 series lead and pulling within one win of the NBA Finals for the sixth-time in the last eight seasons.
Between Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney and others, the Warriors just have so many options they can turn to on both ends of the floor, giving them everything they have needed so far against Dallas.
In Game 3, this depth showed once again and the Warriors’ aggressiveness on defense has really flatlined the Mavericks’ offense.
Doncic, Brunson and Dinwiddie combined for 86 points, exactly what Dallas needed, but nobody else showed up for them and the Warriors’ production on offense was spread out.
Between dominating them in the paint, on the glass and just simply playing harder, the Warriors have complete control of this series now and their performance in Game 3 backs this up.
Dallas owned a nine-point lead at one point in the game and they did fight their way back a few times, but this was one of those games that the Warriors never seemed to be down in. They always had an answer offensively and for all 48 minutes, it felt like Dallas was always trying to catch up to Golden State on both ends of the floor, even when they were ahead.
Game 4 in Dallas could very well be the final game of this Western Conference Finals series and it will be very interesting to see if the Mavericks have anything left mentally, especially since they now have nothing to lose.
There is definitely a lot that one can learn from looking back on Game 3, so let’s take a look at some key takeaways from this game.
Andrew Wiggins Is Dominating Dallas On Both Ends
Perhaps the MVP of this Western Conference Finals series, Andrew Wiggins has been playing like a former No. 1 overall pick and an All-Star.
The 27-year-old wing is averaging 20.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and is shooting 47.1% from the floor, 38.9% from three-point range against the Mavericks in this series.
Not to mention, he has been doing a terrific job defending Luka Doncic and has been attacking him every chance he gets on the offensive-end of the floor, especially in Game 3 when he threw down one of the greatest postseason dunks of all-time.
Wiggins has received a ton of criticism over the years and while he is not a traditional former No. 1 overall pick, he has really found his role in this league with the Warriors.
Of course being drafted first is going to get you compared to guys like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Hakeem Olajuwon automatically, but Andrew Wiggins is not this kind of player.
A really solid two-way wing, Wiggins fits in much better when he does not have to be the primary option for his team and can play off of other guys who like to command the ball, especially on the offensive-end of the floor.
Being able to play off of guys like Draymond Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson has allowed Wiggins to have his best season in the NBA and really focus on being an elite-level two-way player out on the wing.
Beating Luka Doncic on both ends of the floor right now, there is no hotter player in the playoffs than Andrew Wiggins and he is a main reason why the Warriors are on the verge of going back to the NBA Finals once again.
Mavericks’ Lack Of Size Continues To Be Their Downfall
While they lack a ton of size, the Warriors have been a strong defensive team and a really strong rebounding team all year long.
They finished the regular season ranking seventh in rebounds per game and so far in the playoffs, they have been one of the best teams on the interior.
Out of teams that have played at least 12 games in the postseason, the Warriors rank third in total rebounds and against the Mavericks in this series, Golden State has outrebounded them 141-98.
Not to mention, the Warriors have outscored the Mavericks 152-96 in the paint, completely dismantling Dallas’ defense from within. Kevon Looney has been a big part of the Warriors’ success on the interior, but really every player that has attacked the paint on offense has either been fouled or converted an easy layup.
Dallas has no rim-protection underneath and as a result, their lack of size continues to cripple their chances of even winning a game against Golden State!
The Warriors’ brand of basketball is so unique and something that really cannot be replicated in this league. The personnel they have and their ability to attack the paint/glass every possession is something the Mavericks cannot and will not be able to keep up with in Game 4.
Golden State’s Offense Is Just Better Than Dallas’ Defense And Vice Versa
At the end of the day, what this series between Golden State and Dallas comes down to is the fact that the Warriors just have more talent.
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have been doing this together for over a decade now and their championship pedigree has shown throughout these playoffs. Not to mention, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins and Kevon Looney have all stepped up to play their roles to perfection.
Luka Doncic can only do so much for the Mavericks and while Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie did help him out offensively in Game 3, it still proved to not be enough.
The Warriors have dissected the Mavericks’ defense on the interior and on the other end of the floor, the Warriors have looked like the best defensive team in the league this postseason.
Andrew Wiggins has really come into his own as a primary defender on the wing, Draymond Green is still a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and Stephen Curry has surprisingly stepped up to be a really strong on-ball defender out on the perimeter, something that has been labeled as a weakness of his over the years.
Having talent matters late in the playoffs and it is very apparent that the Warriors simply have more talent than the Mavericks do.
They are beating Dallas offensively, they are beating Dallas on the interior on both ends of the court and they are taking away Dallas’ ability to get to their spots offensively, which is why the Warriors are well on their way to getting back to the NBA Finals.
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