Mavericks vs Clippers Preview & Free Pick [Game 1]

Dallas (0-0) vs LA Clippers (0-0)
When: Monday, August 17th, 2020
Where: AdventHealth Arena,
Orlando, Florida
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Los Angeles -6/230.5

After two weeks of regular season NBA games, the playoffs are finally set and we have some terrific matchups coming up in the first round including the Dallas Mavericks taking on the L.A. Clippers on Monday night. Not only have the Clippers never won an NBA title, they have yet to reach the Western Conference Finals. But this is the season that could change everything for L.A.’s second-most popular NBA team. The Clippers come in as the No. 2 seed in the West and could be on a collision-course to meet the Lakers in the conference finals. Dallas is in the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and hasn’t won a series since Dirk Nowitzki led them to the 2011 NBA title. It’s the first-ever playoff matchup between these franchises. The Clippers are 6-4 ATS in the past 10 regular season meetings and won all three this season vs. Dallas.

The Mavs are led by 21-year-old Luka Doncic, who is one of the top players in the league and should win an MVP or two at some point in his career. Doncic averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists this season and led the league with 17 triple-doubles – two of those in the eight-game bubble. He became the youngest player ever with a 30-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in the game versus Sacramento on August 4. The Mavs lost to the Clippers in the bubble two days later, 126-111, with Doncic having 29 points, six assists and three rebounds. He averaged 29.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 7.0 assists in the three games overall vs. the Clippers. Big man Kristaps Porzingis, averaged 18.3 points and 9.3 rebounds in the season series. Dallas is almost at full-strength, but reserve guard Jalen Brunson is not with the team in Orlando due to shoulder surgery and backup center Willie Cauley-Stein opted out of the restart. The over is 4-1 in the Mavs’ last five games.

The Clippers were basically locked into the No. 2 seed and didn’t need to overexert themselves in the bubble. The team added some scoring right before the shutdown in signing guard Reggie Jackson after he was bought out by the Pistons. Jackson would start if Patrick Beverley (calf) misses time. There is no deeper team than the Clippers, who have easily the NBA’s best bench led by Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, both finalists for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Because of a death in the family, Harrell didn’t arrive to the bubble until last Monday but is ready. Beverley is one of the best on-ball defenders in the league along with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard averaged 31.0 points and 8.3 rebounds this year vs. Dallas, while George put up 25.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists but missed one of the three games. The Clippers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games.

Ultimately, the Clippers are going to win this series, but it won’t be easy. The combination of Doncic and Porzingis are good enough to keep these games competitive. Take the points.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today. He is 85-62-3 (58%) on the season after a 12-3 Run!

Pick: Mavericks +6