Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics
10:30am, American Airlines Center
Game 3 – BOS Leads 2-0

A decisive Game 3 looms large on Thursday with the series shifting to Dallas.  

The pressure is squarely on the Mavericks’ backs after finding zero answers to the Celtics in the first two games, and based on everything we’ve seen so far, there’s every chance this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy gets decided in a sweep.  

After dominating in the Western Conference Finals against Minnesota, Kyrie Irving has arguably been the sixth or seventh best player on the court so far, while it’s become abundantly clear Dallas needs Luka Doncic to start taking more shots, particularly from three.  

Mavs fans are probably left wondering what could have been after Game 2. 

Offensively, the Celtics were off for most of the night, but Jason Kidd’s side failed to take advantage with Irving missing shots and almost no one other than Luka proving capable of scoring.  

Looking ahead, Kristaps Porzingis’ health is crucial to how this one might unfold. 

The bookies are clearly factoring in the big man’s calf issue, and so far, they haven’t missed when it comes to setting the odds for this series.  

Boston’s overall net rating has plummeted drastically -almost to historic levels – when Zinger hasn’t been on the court. Again, Dallas found zero answers to his shot-blocking and ability to sink threes, so the amount of minutes Porzingis can play could go a long way to determining the outcome of Game 3.  

Betting-wise, I think the Mavs are the team I’m investing in based purely on the desperation factor.  

It might take a 40-point night from Luka, but with Jayson Tatum playing below par and the likes of Sam Hauser potentially being forced into increased minutes with Zinger hurt, I think this matchup slightly favours Dallas at home. 

Again, the pressure is on the Mavs to adjust. Boston can keep doing exactly what’s been working, but if some of Kyrie’s open looks start to fall, who knows, maybe this series gets extended to at least a Game 5. 

Tip: Back the Mavs to Cover the Line (-2.5 Points) @ $1.90 

SGM: Mavs to Win, Kyrie Irving Over 23.5 Points, Daniel Gafford Over 6.5 Rebounds, PJ Washington Over 14.5 Points @ $9.19