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5 keys for Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors in Western Conference Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Key for Dallas Mavericks vs. Warriors in West Finals: 2. Defense & Pace

The team that dictates the tempo will have a significant edge in this series. Golden State is playing at the fourth-fastest pace in the postseason with 99.82 possessions per game, while Dallas is near the bottom with just 92.5. The Warriors want to create havoc and play fast as the Mavericks love to slow things down and work in the halfcourt.

Who will dictate the terms in the Western Conference Finals? Good luck speeding up Luka Doncic.

The Mavericks want to keep the pace down, so their defense can get back and make the Dubs work in the halfcourt. Both teams have a 110.5 defensive rating in the playoffs coming into this series. Dallas has made massive improvements on that end of the floor as they have become a top-ten unit. Golden State ranked inside the top 11 in all five of their consecutive NBA Finals runs.

The Mavs limit threes and shots at the rim. They want teams taking mid-range jumpers as they look to force them out of their comfort zone. Can head coach Jason Kidd’s defensive strategy work against the Warriors?

If not expect Dallas to make adjustments. The Hall of Fame point guard has pulled all the right strings so far. He limited both Devin Booker and Chris Paul in the final two games against Phoenix as the Mavericks overcame a 3-2 deficit to advance. Can the Mavs do the same to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson? If so, Dallas will be back in the NBA Finals.