In the fourth game of the Clippers and Mavericks series, it unexpectedly presented a one-sided situation. The Clippers held a double-digit lead in the first quarter. The opponent was struggling to catch up throughout the game and was unable to get close. The score difference was even as much as 30 points. In addition to the “small ball exercises” thrown by the speedboat coach Ty Lue, the Mavericks could not answer the response, and even their own original advantages also disappeared, creating the best script for the speedboat.
How did the speedboat get its advantage from being led by the nose in the previous two wars? The reason is to use the ball more resolutely, followed by the full collapse of the Mavericks themselves.
From the post-war period of the third war, the Clippers clearly locked in the small ball against Luka Doncic. Today they formally abandoned Ivica Zubac as the starter, instead pulling on Nicolas Batum as the small ball center forward. This did prevent Zubac from becoming a cash machine again, and from the offensive end. There was no change at the beginning of the series, and he continued to play into the penalty area. Even Kawhi Leonard had a large number of points from the cut.
Batum expanded the Clippers’ offensive space after playing. The Mavericks lacked goalkeepers in the penalty zone. Coupled with the defense that was the bottom of the league, once they were in a singles situation, even if the Clippers didn’t deliberately target Kristaps Porzingis and Doncic, they could still find Jalen Brunson and Maxi Kleber. The goal, there is no way to stop Leonard and Paul George from cutting in to score points. The series of the two shots in the penalty area as high as 80% or more. Even if the outside line is not bright, they can continue to score steadily.
Looking at the Mavericks, on the other hand, the outside shooters are facing a significant downgrade. From the original 50% firepower to today, the team only made 5 of 30 shots from the three-point line and less than 20%, especially the two major shooters Tim Hardaway Jr and Dorian Finney. -Smith scored only two and 12 points in total, and many large gaps were not grasped. The speedboat was able to harass Porzingis and Doncic as much as possible. The speedboats that can’t hit the restricted area, the outside line has failed, and can continue to cut into and score points are more diverse.
Doncic was obviously affected by the injury, and even his mentality was a bit collapsed. The free throws were ridiculously 0 for 5 shots and 9 of 24 shots in the whole game, only 19 points. The Clippers keep changing defenses and sticking to Doncic through the small ball. Don’t let him have a three-point gap and let him take mid-range shots. Although his emergency stop jumper this year is really good enough, he has shot space when he hits his body, which is really exhausting. The physical play style, and the difficult long-range 2 points, is the most willing block of the Clippers in terms of hit rate, not to mention that today’s Doncic is obviously not in the situation. If the Clippers finally successfully reversed, the injury will also make the series. It seems a pity.
The Mavericks also made moves in this game, using Boban Marjanovic to replace the original Willie Cauley-Stein, and even tried to form a twin tower with Porzingis in the fourth quarter. Marjanovic has the highest positive/negative score of +3 in the team. Actually, in the process of pulling the score, he still failed to gain much advantage. It is better to say that Cauley-Stein was on the bench when he was facing Batum or Zubac. In a situation of being blown up, Marjanovic’s scoring efficiency and defensive deterrence can at least maintain the basic set.
As Porzingis reduced his playing time and became the target of the Clippers’ offensive, Zubac began to show his advantage. Today, although he only had 5 points and 7 rebounds, he still fouled off the court. The positive and negative values look better. Doncic was in poor condition and couldn’t blow Zubac. On the other hand, when fighting against Cauley-Stein and Marjanovic, Zubac’s mobility and rebounding ability were superior to the speedboat. I am looking forward to seeing how the Clippers can pass the small ball to further make Zubac back into the penalty area advantage.
In addition, when Porzingis was reduced in playing time, the Mavericks also lost their “5-out” style of play. Zubac does not have to chase the shooter, but can retreat to the penalty area and retract defense. This is the Clippers’ favorite this season. Defensive formation, at this time Doncic can indeed take advantage of the number of pick-and-rolls, and take a step or two from Zubac in the middle distance. But returning to the previous article, these opportunities will be limited to the free throw line and must be shot quickly, all in the Clippers. Under the arms.
Marjanovic became the Mavericks’ change in this field, which just proved the gap between the depth and flexibility of the lineup between the two sides. The Clippers were able to change the starting lineup from Zubac and Patrick Beverley in the first two games to the fourth game, and almost abandoned Beverley, the bench attacked. Terance Mann can eat for about 15 minutes, and the Mavericks’ more reliable substitutes are still Brunson and Josh Richardson.
This game also confirmed that the Clippers finally regained the dominance of the series. The Mavericks failed to solve the small ball exercises or find an extra scoring center of gravity. With Doncic injured in the battle, the situation became more precarious. Last season, the Clippers also drew 2-2. In the next two games, almost all of them defeated their opponents by big scores and advanced smoothly. Will the same battle be repeated? It depends on the determination of the Clippers players and how the Mavericks make the last fight.