- The Los Angeles Clippers have evened their series against the Dallas Mavericks at 2-2.
- The Clippers made major adjustments in Game 3 that seemed to pay off in victory.
- Now, the Mavericks are forced to adjust themselves entering a pivotal Game 5.
DALLAS - The most intriguing series in the NBA Playoffs is tied at 2-2, and sees the Los Angeles Clippers facing off against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs dominated the first two games of the series behind Luka Doncic’s heroics, but the Clippers came roaring back in Games 3 and 4 to even it up.
The major adjustment the Clippers made was benching Ivica Zubac in favor of Nic Batum, which allowed them to remove an easy target for Luka to exploit.
In addition, they replaced Patrick Beverley with Reggie Jackson, removing the energizer bunny of the team - and it worked!
Another major factor in slowing the Mavs down was that Doncic is dealing with a cervical strain, which was noticeable in Game 4.
Game 3 was a monster game from Luka, putting up 44-9-9, but Game 4 saw him fall from grace, putting up 19-6-6 and going 1-7 from the three point arc.
He’s going to need to be his dominant self from Games 1-3 if the Mavericks are going to have a shot in this series. The problem is that it’s not just him who needs to excel - Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. have to be able to create and score when Luka is unavailable.
Hardaway scored 21 and 28 points in the first two games of the series, which the Mavs won.
He has scored 16 total points in the two games since - and with Luka struggling in Game 4, the need for other people to carry the load becomes even more pronounced.
The Mavs have to be firing on all cylinders in order for them to have a shot at Game 5, but they’ve shown the ability to fire on that level in this series.
Still, the online sportsbooks are remarkably confident in the Clippers in Game 5.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Game 5 Odds
- Los Angeles Clippers -310
- Dallas Mavericks +250
The Game 5 odds demonstrate serious confidence that the Clippers’ adjustments will pay off, and the series odds are even more lopsided towards the Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks Series Odds
- Los Angeles Clippers -400
- Dallas Mavericks +300
The Clippers' twofold plan of “stop giving Luka free points” and “make the other players on Dallas beat us” seems to be bearing fruit.
Will the Mavericks be able to pull off the upset now that the Clippers seem to have figured them out?
Sports bettors will find out when these two teams face off at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.