Gentleman’s sweep? Here are the keys to Mavericks-Timberwolves Game 5

Minnesota’s stars finally shined in Game 4 in Dallas, but the Mavericks were down one of their key role players rookie Dereck Lively II.

MINNEAPOLIS — Alas, there was no sweep in the NBA Western Conference Finals after the Minnesota Timberwolves eked out a 105-100 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.

And so the series heads back to the Twin Cities for Game 5 with the Mavs leading the series 3-1.

Minnesota’s stars finally shined in Game 4 in Dallas, but the Mavericks were down one of their key role players rookie Dereck Lively II.

Going into Game 5 at the Target Center, here are three things to look for:

  1. Lively return?

After sitting out Game 4 to recover from the head/neck injury he sustained in Game 3, Lively has been upgraded to questionable for Game 5.

We covered this in the Game 4 preview but it bears repeating: the Mavs are a far superior team when Lively plays.

During the regular season, the Mavericks went 35-20 with Lively in the lineup and averaged 119 points per game.

Without him, they went 15-12 and averaged 115 ppg.

From his iso defense and rim protection to rebounding and receiving alley-oops, Lively is a seven-foot one-inch sparkplug and his presence is critical to the Mavericks success.

Whether he plays in Game 5 or not, it’s good to see he’s been elevated to questionable which means a return is near.

In Game 3, Wolves big man Karl Anthony-Towns could not hit the side of a barn – shooting 5-of-18 from the field and 0-8 from beyond the arc.

In Game 4, KAT responded with 25 points including some incredibly timely three-pointers in the fourth quarter to keep the Mavs at bay.

If Towns continues to stay hot, this series may continue until he goes cold again.

  1. LuKai bounce back?

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving both had off-nights in Game 4.

Despite finishing with a 28-point triple-double, Doncic made just 33% of his shots from the field (7-of-21).

Irving, who was previously 14-0 in closeout games during his 13-year NBA career, finished with 16 points on 33% shooting as well (6-of-18).

If either one of them has a more efficient performance, the Mavs likely win the game and sweep the series.

While it’s tough to imagine the T-Wolves losing a third home game in the West Finals, it’s harder to imagine the LuKai duo puts up another stinker with a chance to put the series to bed.

WCF Game 5 is set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. from the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Original News Source

Click here for San Antonio HOA Management

GET FREE NEWS TODAY!

You Can Unsubscribe At Any Time!


This will close in 0 seconds