Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks look to take control of the series as they host the Oklahoma City Thunder in game two. The Mavericks are 5-point favorites over the Thunder with an over/under total set at 199.
Game one was the Dirk Nowitzki show for the Dallas Mavericks as the German Giant capitalized on frequent whistles for minor offenses to bury all 24 free throw attempts on the night. When he wasn’t getting to the line, Dirk was equally effective rising up and playing over any defense the Thunder threw at him as he drained 12 of 15 shots from the floor. The Mavericks bench once again proved an extremely efficient unit as Jason Terry nailed some clutch shots en route to a 24 point night and JJ Barea contributed an electrifying 16 minutes scoring 21 points and making Scott Brooks look foolish for inserting Nate Robinson in the fourth quarter. While the Mavs offense looked unstoppable, their defense was essentially non-existent which could be concerning as Dallas looks ahead.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have to feel pretty good about game one despite losing in the end. The Thunder weathered an impossible storm from Dirk Nowitzki but still trailed by just five points with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Kevin Durant’s 40 point night was somewhat of an afterthought, but the young forward proved nearly as difficult to guard as Dirk and simply had no quit within him when the deficit would stretch to double digits. Russell Westbrook once again suffered from poor shot selection, but he made up for it by getting to the foul line. Together, Durant and Westbrook made 32 of 37 free throws on the night. The Thunder are still a work in progress being so young, but really showed no signs of intimidation when facing maximum adversity.
It seems natural that game two could be about defense now that each offensive unit has showed their hand, but the individual matchups that contributed to an astronomical total in the first meeting shouldn’t really change that much. The real variable should be trips to the foul line and the referee assignment for this game could do a lot to shape that. Even with the total listed six points higher than the first encounter, I still see this one going over as each team eclipsing the century mark once more would not surprise me in the slightest. Take over 199.