It’s first blood to the Warriors as Golden State easily overcame a misfiring Dallas Mavericks team to pick up a game one win 112-87 at the Chase Center. Steph Curry top-scored with 21 and collected 12 rebounds, and proved why Steve Kerr’s side is a force to be reckoned with.
As far as making a sports prediction, there is a general assumption that this series will go all the way after all the two teams ended the regular season in the third and fourth spot in the Western Conference with just one game separating the two.
However, the manner in which the Mavericks were humbled in the first game of this series, things could well be turning in Golden State’s favor, and Dallas coach Jason Kidd would do well to expunge the memory of this game from his players as soon as possible.
Prior to the game, Curry contemplated his advancing years while embracing the young talent that is coming through the NBA, which is especially relevant given that the Conference final series has been billed by many as Curry vs. Luka Doncic;
“When I look at some of those guys, you’re reminded of how young they are,”
“Jayson Tatum is 24. Luka [Doncic] is 23. Ja [Morant] was 22. That’s the only part where you’re just like, ‘Hell, they’re really that young.’ You’re thinking about what you were doing at that age, trying to come into this scene and [play] playoff basketball.”
Doncic did top-score for the Mavericks but didn’t look his usual bright self, and perhaps the weight of expectation is higher than ever for the Slovenian. The youngster averaged 35 points a game in play off action this year, before this game, so that’s some measure of how far off his usual best he was.
The two teams were fairly evenly matched up until half-time, but then the Golden State Warriors started to pull away, and there was little the Mavericks could do to stem the unrelenting tide.
The Warriors spread the scoring around with seven players reaching double-figures which must surely be pleasing to Kerr, showing that his team is more than just a Steph Curry roadshow and the signs look good for a Golden State run to a first NBA title since 2018.
Dallas was errant from three-point range, managing a woeful 11 from 48, and there’s only so much Doncic can do by himself.
A big worry for Kidd and his Dallas Mavericks is the fact that Golden State seems nearly unstoppable on their home court. They are seven and zip at the Chase Center so far this year, and if they make that eight and zero after game two, then a mountain will need to be climbed, and it’s unclear whether the Mavericks are capable of pulling that feat off, at least not by the standards set in game one.
As for Steve Kerr, he’ll be hugely pleased with the true team effort his side put in, and they have plenty to build on to make it through the Conference Semi-Finals and into the finals series.