Dallas Mavericks At Golden State Warriors [May 18] - Picks And Predictions for NBA Playoffs

Luka Doncic
Wikimedia | Sporti

Ernesto Cova

The Dallas Mavericks will visit Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Jason Kidd's squad continues to defy the odds and prove that they don't need multiple stars to compete with the league's finest. The Warriors, on the other hand, are eager to silence their doubters and demonstrate that they're far from done after two years of not making the playoffs.

The Warriors' Dynasty Is Alive

Stephen Curry
Wikimedia | Noah Salzman

It's been two years since the Warriors made the playoffs. But every time Steve Kerr's team has reached the postseason, they've made it to the NBA Finals.

So, after five straight trips to basketball's ultimate stage, the Dubs will look to go back where they've always belonged. They're tailor-made for the postseason and the team with the most experience at this stage, so there's plenty of pressure on their shoulders.

Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green will lead the way for a team also featuring plenty of youth.

Can Luka Make More History?

Luka Doncic
Wikimedia | Sporti

Luka Doncic trails only Michael Jordan for the highest PPG average in the NBA playoffs. That's just how good and dominant he's been thus far in his brief career.

Despite not having another star by his side and regardless of Tim Hardaway Jr's absence, Doncic continues to put the Mavs on his shoulders night in and night out. Needless to say, this will be his toughest task yet.

Key Stats, Injuries, And Trends

Luka Doncic
Wikimedia | Bagumba

Both teams are quite healthy entering this matchup. For the Warriors, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, and James Wiseman will be on the shelf. For the Mavs, only Tim Hardaway Jr. won't be available.

In terms of trends, it's worth noting that the Warriors are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Conference Finals games, and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games playing on 3 or more days' rest. Also, they are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as a home favorite.

Moreover, the Over is 12-4 in their past 16 head-to-head matchups.

Picks For Mavericks At Warriors

Stephen Curry
Giphy | NBA

The Warriors have been waiting for this moment for two long years. The Mavs are no pushovers and will make it tough on them, but there's no way they leave Chase Center with a win in Game 1.

This will be an emotional game for the Splash Brothers and there will take no chances against Doncic and the Mavericks. Expect them to cover the 5 points and put on a shooting clinic to go over the total as well.