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Game 2 Review
Game 2 was almost like watching a review of the regular season for both teams. The Dallas Mavericks fought with not only the lesser athletic team but was undermanned with starting point guard Deron Williams (sports hernia) playing half the game limping around and missing most of the second half, their backup point guard J.J Berea (right groin muscle) didn’t play and forward David Lee (right heel) missed his second game. Yet still, the Mavericks clawed their way to a win out hustling and out smarting the Oklahoma (OKC) Thunder led by Raymond Felton’s 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Thunder once again lost a game that they should have easily won considering all of the injuries the Mavericks were dealing with. The wild shots, inconsistent play and not having that third option step up while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are having an off game all factored into the loss in Game 2.
Keys To The Game
Feeding off the crowd should be the biggest priority for the Mavericks. They need to make it as umcomfortable as it can be for the underachieving Thunder by getting the crowd involved. If they can continue to be scrappy and annoying in a basketball sense, they should be in it or possibly have the lead late in the game. OKC needs to exploit the Mavericks injured and non-athletic players. Their depth has to become a factor and the role players that are capable of scoring double digits points (Dion Waiters and Enes Knter) need to put their stamp on the game.
The Mavericks X-Factor is Wesley Matthews. Matthews did a great job of harassing and making it difficult for Durant to take clean shots in Game 2. It is hard to see Durant have back-to-back bad games but Matthews can still make his evening uncomfortable and make him earn every point.
The Thunder X-Factor is Westbrook. Westbrook has to exploit the undersized, injured, and not quick enough point guards. He has to run around them, jump over and out hustle all of them. When Westbrook has a big night, the Thunder usually win big.
Prediction: Thunder wins 93-89.