Soft and not very clutch. That’s the reputation the Dallas Mavericks have when it’s playoff time.
It may be time to revisit that thinking for Dallas is 10-0-1 against the spread its last 11 games, including 6-0-1 ATS during the postseason.
The Mavericks certainly have the Los Angeles Lakers’ attention after upsetting them, 96-94, as six-point road underdogs this past Monday night in Game 1 of this Western Conference semifinal series.
The combined 190 points just went ‘over’ the 188 total.
Dallas came from 16 points down to pull out the victory. Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Lakers center Andrew Bynum hardly factored and Dallas’ reserves outscored Los Angeles’ bench, 40-25.
“This team can beat us, it’s clear,” Kobe Bryant said about the Mavericks following Game 1.
Subscribing to the Zig-Zag revenge theory so popular in the NBA playoffs, oddsmakers have installed the Lakers as 6 ½-point favorites for Wednesday night’s Game 2 matchup at Staples Center beginning 7:30 (PT) on TNT. The ‘over/under’ is 187.
The Lakers opened this series as 2/1 favorites to capture their third consecutive world championship. No player since Michael Jordan has inspired his team to win titles more than Bryant, who had 36 points in Game 1.
There’s no panic in Los Angeles. The Mavericks have improved their height and inside toughness, but they still are not a match for 7-foot Pau Gasol, 7-0 Bynum and 6-10 Lamar Odom off the bench.
Gasol and Bynum combined to average 37 points and 17.3 rebounds in three regular-season games against Dallas, two of which Los Angeles won. Odom averaged 14.7 points.
The Lakers were plus-30 in rebounding in dispatching New Orleans in six games during their first-round series. Los Angeles averaged 40.8 rebounds versus the Hornets. The Mavericks averaged 39.7 rebounds against Portland in their opening-round series.
The Lakers out-rebounded Dallas, 44-40, in Game 1. Bynum, however, scored just eight points and pulled down five rebounds in fewer than 29 minutes after shooting 70.4 percent against the Mavericks during the regular season. The Lakers were minus 16 in scoring differential when Bynum was on the floor Monday night.
Tyson Chandler nearly had a double-double for Dallas scoring 11 points on five-of-eight shooting from the floor and had nine rebounds. The Mavericks are 15-4 when Chandler posts a double-double.
It was the seventh time in the last nine visits that the Mavericks have covered on the road against the Lakers. The road team is 11-4-1 ATS in the last 16 meetings. The ‘over’ has cashed six of the past eight times the two teams have met at Staples Center.
Los Angeles has failed to cover in six of its past eight home contests.
The Lakers ranked ninth during the regular season in scoring at 101.5 points a game. They averaged 96.5 points per game during their series against New Orleans.
Dallas averaged 93.3 points in going 5-0-1 ATS during its series with the Trail Blazers. The Mavericks held the Trail Blazers to 88.2 points per game. The Lakers held the Hornets to an average of 89.3 points per contest.
The Mavericks run a lot of pick-and-roll plays with veteran Jason Kidd at point guard primarily dishing off to Nowitzki and Jason Terry. Kidd had 11 assists in Game 1, while Nowitzki and Terry combined to make 17-of-32 shots from the floor.
The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Friday at 6:30 p.m. (PT) on ESPN with Game 4 on Sunday.
The Lakers also lost Game 1 of their series at home to New Orleans. They came back to win Game 2, 87-78, failing to cover as 12-point favorites.
The Mavericks are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a pointspread cover.