The Dallas Mavericks have advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011 to face the Golden State Warriors in a seven-game series. Jason Kidd will make his coaching debut at the conference finals stage, going against a championship-tested coach in Steve Kerr.
When asked about the matchup, Kidd showered praise on his hometown team and Kerr. After defeating the Phoenix Suns 123-90 in Game 7 on Sunday, he said:
"We're still learning each other. We're still finding ways to get better. We're playing a very special team in the Warriors when you talk about dynasty and one of the best coaches to ever do it."
Kerr is an eight-time champion – five times as a player and three as a coach – who has seen it all. He has coached Game 7s, multiple NBA Finals and several close-out and elimination games. He has been down in a series and pulled off a comeback while also sweeping multiple opponents over the years.
Golden State has not lost a single Western Conference playoff series since 2015. Kerr is one of the NBA's most distinguished coaches, and Kidd certainly has his work cut out for him. Thus, he acknowledged that the Mavericks will not celebrate the Game 7 victory too much and get focused for the Warriors immediately. Kidd continued:
"So we'll celebrate this, enjoy this today and then we'll close the book and get ready for Golden State. But I don't know if we have arrived."
The Dallas Mavericks are massive underdogs as they are the inexperienced young squad facing veterans in Golden State.
Luka Doncic is certainly one of the league's most talented players, and not many players on the Dubs can guard him. However, the main issue is not his offense but his defense. Doncic will have to chase around either Steph Curry, Klay Thompson or Jordan Poole off screens, and he is bound to get fatigued.
Many have picked the Warriors to win the Western Conference finals. Can Luka Doncic and the Mavericks pull off another upset?
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson acknowledge the tough matchup against the Golden State Warriors
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson will be the pivotal players who decide the fate of the Dallas Mavericks in this series. Luka Doncic is a superstar talent who will get his numbers, but Dinwiddie and Brunson need to make shots to help their leader. The Mavs cannot afford to have Dinwiddie and Brunson struggle this deep in the postseason, especially against a team like Golden State.
Dinwiddie acknowledged that even though the Mavericks won the regular-season series 3-1, the Warriors weren't entirely healthy for those matchups. In the postgame interview, he said:
"They are one of the most historic teams of all time. Their nucleus is still intact. Jordan Poole has been playing amazing. So, we will have our work cut out for us."
Brunson said that the Warriors have experience on their side and that the Mavericks will need to do whatever it takes to win. They need to watch film and be prepared for the 3-point onslaught the Dubs can rain on them.
The Mavericks and Warriors play Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in San Francisco on Wednesday.
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