Watching the matchup back from a few weeks ago, the Warriors were very focused on taking away the scoring of Luka and Kyrie, forcing others to beat them, but unfortunately the Warriors did not have enough offense to pullup it off as they were without Steph Curry that night. They limited both players to 21 and 23 points, but both players had 9 and 10 assists. I believe the Warriors will come back with a similar game plan tonight. They did not want either player to step into uncontested pullup threes as the extra help off the pick & roll was always ready and stepping up, but this opens the paint for easy lobs and open threes as the Warriors have been very sloppy in their rotations for at least the past month. Dallas did not do a good job of executing from deep as they shot 6 of 27 from deep, but when open or wide open from three, they shot 8 of 25 from the field, including 7 of 18 when wide open (6+ feet of space). 

With the Dallas defense, they will continue to play their 2-3 zone defense. Typically, Dallas has been focused on getting pick & roll ball handlers off the three-point line and forcing them to take midrange jumpshots as they are allowing the 7th highest pullup two frequency in the past 10 games, but they didn’t really need to trap as they did not have a midrange shooter to fear. Drives to the rim will be tough off the pick & roll trying to finish at the rim when Gafford is there waiting to go for blocks. This affects guys like Brandin Podziemski who like to finish in the paint, where 45% of his attempts have come from in the past 10 games. He’s not a good three-point shooter either as he’s making them only 31% of the time in the past 10 games and 37% on the season. because Dallas likes to focus on taking away the ball handler in pick & roll, it will be tough for Curry pullup threes, but he could thrive in taking the pullup two’s. The Mavericks are allowing the 3rd lowest pullup three frequency in the past 10 games. If Kuminga plays, he’ll try and bully his way into the paint, which worked well against everyone but PJ Washington who will most likely be his primary matchup. Washington has been limiting a lot of players since the trade and we may expect that trend to continue. I wont talk much about Kuminga as it is a toss up at the moment, but their next game is not until Thursday which could have him lean towards sitting considering he’s missed three straight already and the Warriors have won four straight. 

Dallas has been limiting threes lately as well which makes you wonder who does benefit the most in this Warriors offense? It would have to be Curry for the midrange shots he’ll see tonight. Dallas is allowing the 5th most midrange field goal attempts in the past 10 games and Chris Paul is taking the most on the team in the past 10 games. In the past three games for a midrange shot has been Andrew Wiggins, but if Kuminga is OUT, he’ll get the PJ Washington matchup. Curry has seen 30+ minutes in four straight games and 18+ field goal attempts as well. When he sees 18+ field goal attempts and 30+ minutes with Draymond Green, he’s gone over this prop (Pts+Ast) in 24 of 31 games, but adding Kuminga OUT, it is 2 of 4. Curry has seen 18+ field goal attempts in 15 of his last 20 games. 

Going back to the Dallas offense, I think Luka and Kyrie will have a tough time from traps high up on the three-point line, but that sets up perfectly for Gafford to get some good looks rolling and at the rim for lobs. Lively was not present at shootaround, which typically signals for a player not suiting up. In three games without Lively but with Luka & Kyrie, he’s seen 19, 16 and 17 points. When all three play, since Gafford was inserted into the starting lineup, he’s gone over this prop in 5 of 10 games, but has taken 5+ field goal attempts in 9 of those 10 games. In 6 of the 10 games he’s seen 7+ field goal attempts. He’s over in 6 of 9 games with 7+ attempts and 7 of 13 games over with 5+ attempts, but both are when all three players play.

Daniel Gafford Over 10.5 Pts (-113 FD)

Steph Curry Over 31.5 Pts+Ast (-115 FD)