It’s always interesting to me how in the playoffs as the series shifts over to a different location for games three and four, that the teams can look so different. I understand that home crowds do play a factor but the differences in confidence are apparent as well. The Mavericks looked like a completely different team back home behind their faithful fans than in games one and two. Maybe it was the home cooking or maybe it was the desperation of knowing the series was over if they lost game three. Whatever it was, the Mavericks are now back into this series with game four on their home floor again. If they can have another showing like in game three, they’ll head back to Arizona tied at two games apiece. Much like how Phoenix blitzed them in games one and two, Dallas blitzed Phoenix right out of the gates in game three. Can Phoenix respond in game four? Or will Dallas hold serve and tie the series up?
How Phoenix can win: Nobody for the Suns scored over 20 points but that’s also the beauty of this loaded Phoenix roster. They win by association a lot of the time, but it didn’t manifest in game three for them. They turned the ball over too many times and allowed the Mavericks to get shot attempts from those turnovers. Dallas turned defense into offense and that is one aspect of the Suns game that they sometimes struggle with. While it was just one game, the Suns know that if they let this Dallas team back into the series having all the confidence in the world, it could mean trouble. Doncic is that good that is only one other player steps up to help him, they have a good shot at beating you. Phoenix needs to refocus and make sure they don’t head back to the valley of the sun tied in this series.
How Dallas can win: The Mavericks looked like the Mavericks in game three as someone other than Doncic helped lead them to a victory. Guard Jalen Brunson snapped out of his scoring issues and put up 28 points to lead the team. If the Mavericks can get consistent scoring from someone other than Doncic, they are a really tough team to beat. They play pretty effective defense and can shoot the ball from three very well. Against the Suns, they forced a bunch of turnovers, and it was quick into the game that they realized the home crowd was going to help them. If they can cause the Suns to turn the ball over and get good shot attempts from those turnovers, the Mavericks are able to compete in this series. They got back into this series and with game four in Dallas, anything is possible for this Mavericks team.
The Spread Via FanDuel:
Moneyline: PHO: (-116) | DAL: (-102)
Spread: PHO: -1 (-110) | DAL: +1 (-110)
Final Prediction: Phoenix Suns 113 Dallas Mavericks 112
–I like the Suns to take game four tonight. Dallas had its moment and we easily could see another game back in Dallas for this series but give me Phoenix to close out a very close game.