The Warriors won Game 1 at home by a score of 87-112, as the Mavericks were unable to match up on either side of the ball. The Mavericks were unable to make jumpers fall, and the Warriors did an excellent job of denying them simple looks around the basket. The Warriors took advantage of the Mavericks’ failure of an inside defender to get their best shots in the paint and near the rim.
Because of Luka’s all-around talent, many people predicted the Mavericks would surprise the Warriors. Luka’s poor second-half effort, in which he scored only two points and had six mistakes, demonstrates how much unstable the Mavericks were during the game.
The Mavericks had several solid shots in the first half of the game, but their conversion rate was minimal. Dallas shot a pathetic 36% from the field and 22.9% from three-point range, as they were struggling even with open shots. The Warriors also out-hustled the Mavericks in every statistical metric, outperforming them in almost every category.
Warrior’s strategy holds a massive contribution to Andrew Wiggins’s performance. Luka was mainly assigned to Andrew Wiggins, but the Warriors used traps frequently, requiring other teammates to assist in defending one of the league’s best players. The Warriors implemented a team-defense approach heading into this series. No one was prepared to take on the Mavericks, especially Luka Doncic, single-handedly.
On how Wiggins defended Luka, Steph Curry said that “He’s just showing everybody what he’s capable of in terms of impacting winning… Last series he demonstrated he was ready for this moment, and in Game 1 he stepped up. I’m happy for him, because eight years in the league, this is his moment.”