Adjustment to expect in Game 3 of Dallas Mavericks vs. Clippers: 2. First and third
The Mavs are undefeated in the 29 games where they led at the end of the first quarter this season. They topped LA in the opening stanza in each of the first two games. Dallas takes full advantage of slow starts. The Mavericks will be hoping to deliver the first blow on Friday night, but expect some changes from the Clippers.
LA is likely to switch up their starting five, but do not be surprised to see coach Lue change it again at the beginning of the second half if they do get the result they want. The Clippers have to win Game 3. No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit, much less one carrying the weight of a 2020 playoff collapse like the Clips. If the Mavericks win on Friday night, they are advancing to the second round.
Dallas has dominated the battle on the starters. Their five-man starting unit is plus 23 over 39.2 minutes in the first two games, according to NBA Stats. LA’s opening five is minus-24 in 23.3 minutes. The Mavs have won six of the first eight quarters, but none was bigger than holding the Clippers to 19 in the third in Game 2.
The LA Clippers need to make adjustments to play better in the first and third quarters. Improvement there is key to helping them get back into the series.
Next: No. 1