The Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks will do battle over the next two weeks for the right to represent the West in the NBA Finals.
And while many believe the Mavericks and rising superstar Luka Doncic will present a formidable challenge, most basketball heads also believe the Warriors are just too experienced, savvy and battle-tested to lose the series.
So far, those Warriors supporters are correct as Golden State survived some shaky shooting in a gritty 112-87 Game 1 win over the Mavs.
Golden State’s experience served the Dubs well, even on a night when the Splash Brothers started off the game 1-for-10 from the floor and 0-for-7 from three. Curry, one of the greatest free throw shooters in league history, missed three of his first five free throws.
Golden State’s flaws weren’t enough for Dallas to steal one on the road, as the Dub Nation defense held Luka Doncic to 20 points.
The ability to win in a multiplicity of ways is why analysts such as FS1 personality Chris Broussard are heavy on the “Dub Nation” bandwagon. Broussard gave his opinion in an appearance on “First Things First” on Wednesday.
The well-respected analyst went into the Warriors’ deep playoff resume under Steve Kerr, and why it is his belief that they won’t fold.
“I’m gonna admit Luka is scary, but I got the Warriors winning this series in six games. And here’s one thing: They have a pedigree that Phoenix, despite having Chris Paul, just does not have”
Broussard then highlighted the squads the Warriors have faced and taken down during their historic run.
“The Golden State Warriors have stared down LeBron James. You think they’re gonna get intimidated, like Phoenix did eventually by Luka Doncic? They have come back from a 3-1 deficit on Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. There is no hole they could be in, there is no situation they’re gonna face in this series that’s gonna make them crumble.”
Who wins the Western Conference Finals: Mavs or Warriors?
"Look, Luka is scary. But I got the Warriors in 6. Luka's going to get his. … But Golden State's going to win on the offensive end. They have 3 bonafide scorers, the Water Boys — Splash Bros + Poole." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/DYkCCMnrvA
— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) May 18, 2022
Warriors Are Truly Battle-Tested: Perseverance Is A Strength
In the last eight seasons the Warriors have seen it all. They’ve overcome 3-1 deficits, blown a 3-1 lead, won game 7’s at home and away. Through it all they’re still here and finally healthy for the first time since the 2019 Western Conference Finals. Led by the same nucleus that has led them into battle over that timeframe, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and even the savvy veteran Andre Iguodala is back.
This is new to the Mavs and their 23-year-old phenomenon. Doncic and Co. are facing a team that has been in this situation six of the last eight seasons. That will prove pivotal as it did for the Warriors in series wins over Denver and Memphis.
Only two players remaining in the playoffs have made 40+ threes this postseason:
Stephen Curry – 42
Klay Thompson – 42 pic.twitter.com/jSzvBWJ2CE
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) May 17, 2022
Mavericks Defense Strangled The Suns In Their Four Wins: Will It Work Against Golden State?
In the Mavericks’ surprising series win over the Suns, their defense was the difference along with Luka. But the Warriors are a well-rounded offense that has multiple playmakers and shot-makers. Unlike the Suns, who lean heavily on Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Broussard likes the matchup of the Warriors flex motion offense against the Mavs defense.
“I think that Golden State will win this thing on the offensive end. They’ll guard Dallas as well as you can, but they’ll win it on the offensive end, because Phoenix only had one bona fide big time scorer, Devin Booker. … Golden State has three bona fide, big time scorers.”
All playoff series take on their own life, but if GS does what they normally do offensively and Draymond controls his emotions, they’ll win this in six games max. Luka can get 40 or 50 but it’s about controlling the others and keeping his assists numbers down. The rest of that roster needs Luka to create quality offense, and the Warriors know that. Expect to let him get his approach while containing the others similar, to Game 1.