Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks: Predictions, Starting Lineups (12/2/23)

The Oklahoma City Thunder (12-6) encounter the Dallas Mavericks (11-7) this Saturday (12/2/23). Get Thunder vs. Mavericks moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction

 

Luka Doncic is the engine of Dallas’ offense to the tune of 31.1 points and 7.9 assists per game. At 6’7” tall, Doncic typically leverages his size on drives to get to his spots; however, Lu Dort is one of the few perimeter defenders that cannot be bumped or routinely snared on screens. Oklahoma City’s lineup lacks small guards too, so Doncic cannot go matchup hunting to play bully ball. Dereck Lively II’s lack of range also allows Chet Holmgren to stay in the paint and deter Dallas’ drivers; he leads the NBA in rim points saved per 75 possessions (via Basketball Index).

Dallas’ offense is geared towards surrounding Doncic and Irving with spot up shooters and lob threats. Therefore, with Irving out, the Mavericks will be relying too much on Doncic to create everything, especially with Dort hounding him. Factor in Cason Wallace, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Kenrich Williams, and the Thunder have the tools to limit Dallas’ offense.

On the other end, the Mavericks are allowing the largest opponent restricted area field goal percentage, which doesn’t bode well for them considering Oklahoma City leads the league in drives per game and ranks second in the metric rim shot creation per Basketball Index. Gilgeous-Alexander will have his way against this mediocre Dallas perimeter defense, especially in isolation.

The Mavericks are also dead last in opponent transition points per possession, and Oklahoma City ranks second in transition frequency and sixth in transition points per possession. Look for the Thunder to crank up the pace and rack up layups. Finally, Dallas is 25th in offensive rebound rate, so they won’t expose Oklahoma City’s fatal flaw.

Overall, the surging Thunder are a bad matchup for the Mavericks, and the injuries only increase OKC’s chances.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Prediction: Thunder -3.5 & Moneyline

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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Best Odds

The visiting Thunder are four point favorites, but the line could somewhat change depending on Irving’s status. For Dallas’ +152 moneyline to be profitable in the long run, they need to win this game roughly 39.7 percent of the time. It’s worth noting that the Thunder easily lead the NBA in cover percentage (60.8%) since October 2021.

Oklahoma City Thunder Starting Lineup

PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
SG: Lu Dort
SF: Josh Giddey
PF: Jalen Williams
C: Chet Holmgren

Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup

PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Seth Curry
SF: Derrick Jones Jr
PF: Grant Williams
C: Dereck Lively II

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Injuries

Kyrie Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr, Josh Green, Maxi Kleber and Dante Exum are all out. On the other hand, Oklahoma City’s injury report is completely clean.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks Key Matchups

Isaiah Joe 3PT Shooting

In 14 November games, Isaiah Joe shot a 48.8 3PT% on roughly six attempts per game. Unsurprisingly, the Thunder are outscoring opponents by 14.4 points per 100 possessions when Joe is on the court this season. If he continues to rain down threes and balance Oklahoma City’s drive-heavy offense, then Dallas’ defense will be in a difficult pick-your-poison situation, especially when OKC runs a Gilgeous-Alexander and Joe pick-and-pop.

Grant Williams 3&D Production

At 17.3 points per game, Jalen Williams is Oklahoma City’s third leading scorer and second best self-creator. Dallas desperately needs Grant Williams to continue his recent defensive success and mostly transform Jalen Williams into a spot up shooter. Offensively, his off-ball shooting punishes collapsing defenders that attempt to help on Doncic. If the Mavericks are going to win this game, then they need a big three-point night from him.

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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