Warriors should win defensive battle against the Mavericks

Luka Doncic and Steph Curry, and their ability to make shots from anywhere in the same area code as the arena they are in, will get the bulk of the attention when the Warriors vs Mavericks meet on Sunday.

But the defenses of both teams could rule the day, as both teams rank in the top-three in the Western Conference in scoring defense. The Warriors should get the better of what could be a defensive battle, though.

The Mavericks have several perimeter players on their injury report, with Reggie Bullock and Trey Burke joining Tim Hardaway Jr. on the injury report. Against the Warriors, attacking the perimeter and the paint are the two ways to be effective. With the Mavericks lacking a dominant inside scorer to take advantage of Kevon Looney and Nemanja Bjelica, any injured shooters will negatively impact Dallas in a big way.

Golden State, meanwhile, has a matchup nightmare for the Mavericks in the form of Steph Curry and the rest of their outside shooters. Luka Doncic lacks the quickness to keep up with the shooters of the Warriors, which is especially problematic against a team that moves the ball as quickly as Golden State.

While Doncic will likely make up for any defensive issues with his scoring, the Warriors could really get the better of the Warriors in crunch time.

Both of these teams come into this Sunday matchup, having played on the road coming out of the All-Star break. The Mavericks played in Utah on Friday against the Jazz and should be well-rested, given that things like alcohol and smiling are illegal in Utah.

Golden State should also be well-rested, having last played on Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.

When looking at basketball betting lines for today, the Golden State Warriors will be favored over the Dallas Mavericks. The spread is likely a little tighter than it should be, as the defense of the Mavericks will prevent oddsmakers from making Golden State a huge favorite.

But Golden State has an offensive advantage here to where they should be able to cover the number barring an offensive explosion from Luka Doncic.

That offensive explosion from Doncic is entirely possible and could prevent the Warriors from being one of the best NBA bets today. Doncic finished the first half of the season with a 49 point outburst against the Pelicans, in which he scored one point for every beignet that Zion Williamson ate during the game. Doncic is always capable of a similar scoring barrage and could beat the Warriors singlehandedly if he is at the top of his game.

Another variable that could derail the Warriors for this game is the early start time on Sunday. This Warriors vs Mavericks game is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM Eastern, which will be a 4:30 PM start time in San Francisco. Whichever team can get off to a fast start in spite of the awkward start time will be in an advantageous position for this contest.

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