Luka Doncic and the Mavericks can keep game six close as they look to extend the series with the Clippers into game seven, says Dave Gray...
"One week ago Luka Doncic had what is certain to be one of the moments of the playoffs as he drained a three at the end of overtime to level the series at 2-2. But it could all be for nothing with the Mavericks facing elimination if they can't win tonight against the Clippers."
Can Doncic do it again?
Toronto Raptors @ Brooklyn Nets
Sunday, 20:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
One week ago Luka Doncic had what is certain to be one of the moments of the playoffs as he drained a three at the end of overtime to level the series at 2-2. But it could all be for nothing with the Mavericks facing elimination if they can't win tonight against the Clippers.
The task was made harder when it was announced that Kristaps Porzingis' season was done with a torn meniscus. Doncic was not fit himself, dealing with an ankle sprain that clearly troubled him in game five where LA ran out big, big winners. But the extra rest following the player protests that saw this game delayed could help the young superstar get back to full fitness.
Paul George had struggled in the early part of the series but came alive in game five with 35 points. Kawhi Leonard has been his usual great self throughout and has at least 29 points in every game so far. Many consider the Clippers the best team in the league and if they are going to be then we will need to see this George a lot more often to help Leonard out.
Without Porzingis it is going to be really tough on Doncic at less than 100%. Kawhi is almost unstoppable and despite Dallas' best efforts, he looks likely to lead the Clippers into round two tonight. But the 10.5 point handicap looks too big with a player like Doncic on the other side. The Mavs can keep this close with their excellent shooting so take them with the points. They may even be able to sneak another game and take it to game seven.
Round two begins
Boston Celtics @ Toronto Raptors
Sunday, 18:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Arena
The Celtics and Raptors both completed round one sweeps and they are the first to get their round two match up underway in what should be an excellent series.
The Raptors breezed past the Nets but Boston should give them a much tougher test. Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam have all been excellent in the bubble and as an all round team they will provide anyone they face with a tough matchup. They play good defence, can score heavily and have championship winning experience. They may not have the individual star like they had with Leonard a year ago, but they are still a force to be reckoned with.
The Celtics were favourites to win the series against the 76ers but the ease they did it with was a surprise. Gordon Hayward will miss this one and that will put more pressure on Jason Taytum to step up but the young star really broke out over the second half of the season and looks ready to lead Boston through these playoffs.
This is a tough game to call, but the Raptors excellent three point shooting and stingy defence gives them the edge in both game one, and the series.
Dave Gray's Regular Season NBA 2019/20 P/L