🏀 Best Backcourt in NBA History?

Dallas steps back into the Target Center with the opportunity to steal another game on the road. Ant, KAT and Gobert might have other plans though. Expect the Timberwolves to come out with a renewed sense of urgency and run up an early lead. Whether or not they can maintain it will be another story 👀 (3 min read)

Heavyweight Hoops

They say it isn’t a series until the road team wins. Looks like the Western Conference finals has turned into a series pretty quickly. Game 1 was a showcase for why Dallas has the advantage — in a one or two possession situation, it is hard to beat the Mavericks when they have two bonafide closers in Luke and Kyrie. Check out their production from Wednesday night 👇

Aside from their superstar backcourt — one that Paul Pierce calls “the best offensive duo in NBA history” — the Mavericks are just a complete team, emerging as the second-best defense in the playoffs 💪

  • Rim protection has been Dallas’ forte with the Dereck Lively and Gafford duo making it difficult for opponents to get easy paint looks

  • Lively has played especially well and the fact that he’s been an impact postseason player in just his first season couldn’t be more promising for the team’s future

  • Otherwise, the Mavericks are able to keep size and length on the floor, PJ Washington and Derick Jones Jr., without compromising their offense

But Dallas was not able to shut the door on game one through defense alone. It helps to have two go-to scorers during single possession playoff games 🤝

  • Kyrie set the tone in the first half, preventing a Minnesota lead from getting too high, by dropping 24 points

  • Luka finished things by going 5-8 in the fourth en route to 15 points

  • Doncic also played some good defense in the clutch, baiting Mike Conley into a lob pass that he broke up, channeling his best Draymond Green impression

Minnesota is a great team though, and I expect them to punch back tonight. Ant did not look like himself, getting lost in the Kyrie matchup, and had no burst or verve as the game developed 🫡

  • The ascending superstar’s shot diet was not ideal, taking 12 of his 16 FG attempts from three. While he shot well from deep, there was a noticeable drop-off in his rim pressure, which helps generate easier shots for the rest of the team

  • Tonight, Edwards should manage to find more cracks in Dallas’ coverage, which is geared to prevent him from getting paint touches, by making snappier decisions…but that’s far easier said then done

How about a throwback to end the preview? 😮‍💨

  • Spread: Timberwolves -5

  • Moneyline: Timberwolves -210, Mavericks +176

  • Over/Under: 207 Total Points

  • When: 8:30PM EST on TNT

Trivia Question: Who leads the Mavs this postseason in point differential?

For My Parlay Gurus

Look, my last parlay was maybe my worst. Expecting Denver to close out Minnesota on the road in game six was perhaps a bit ambitious. But hear me out…the Timberwolves were fatigued last game. For them to win though, I think they have to lead comfortably heading into the fourth quarter. I’m going with them to cover spread, while also taking the over 👇

  • T-Wolves -5 vs Mavs: -114

  • Over 207 Total Points: -110

$100 on this bet would win you $272 — if we hit, make sure you email [email protected] for a chance to win an Overtime hoodie*. Many will enter, only some will win 😉

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Trivia Answer: Dereck Lively, who is a +140 so far and sits at third across all players during the 2024 playoffs. Only Jayson Tatum (+148) and Anthony Edwards (+147) are ahead of the rookie big man

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