Can Mavs' health hold up tonight vs. Thunder?
Dallas’ walking wounded pulled off a huge upset victory over Oklahoma City on Monday night, but can the magic continue well into Game 3?
The action swings to the Lone Star State this evening, with an 7 p.m. ET tip at the American Airlines Center. Online sports book Bovada.lv categorizes the Thunder as 9-point favorites to regain control of the first-round series. Meanwhile, the over/under total falls at 196 points.
Buckets were difficult to obtain three days ago, but the Mavericks managed an 85-84 road victory to pull even. Thirteen-time All-Star Nowitzki continued to defy Father Time with a 17-point performance. He also suffered an injury in the contest, though, which threatens to compromise an already depleted roster even further. In addition to Nowitzki, three other key cogs – starting guards Deron Williams and J.J. Barea, plus forward David Lee – are dealing with assorted ailments.
Will Billy Donovan’s gang actually bring the Mavs to their knees, however? Kevin Durant is coming off a 7-for-33 shooting performance. Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Northwest Division champions mustered just 11 total assists, too.
One area that Oklahoma City definitely has in its favor: the boards. The Thunder own a 110-78 edge on the glass though 96 minutes of basketball. As long as Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka keep outfoxing Dallas in the paint, Durant and Westbrook should get back on track in other respects. The host team’s resolve promises to be admirable, but depth concerns don’t stay buried forever.
THURSDAY NBA FREE PICK: THUNDER -9