How the Clippers and Mavericks match up for their first-round playoff series

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic tries to work past Clippers forward Paul George during a game on Aug. 6.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

A look at how the No. 2-seeded Clippers and No. 7 Dallas Mavericks match up for their first-round playoff series:


Clippers / Mavericks

Forward: Marcus Morris Sr., 6-8; Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-7

Forward: Paul George, 6-8; Tim Hardaway Jr., 6-5

Center: Ivica Zubac, 7-0; Kristaps Porzingis, 7-3

Guard: Patrick Beverley, 6-1; Seth Curry, 6-3

Guard: Kawhi Leonard, 6-7; Luka Doncic, 6-7

The central challenge faced by the Clippers is containing Doncic while not focusing so much on him that it allows the Mavericks’ other shooters to get open. Curry, Finney-Smith, Porzingis and Trey Burke all have made at least 38% of their three-pointers during the restart.



Clippers / Mavericks

Forward/Center: Montrezl Harrell, 6-7; Maxi Kleber, 6-10

Guard: Lou Williams, 6-1; Trey Burke, 6-0

Guard: Reggie Jackson, 6-3; Delon Wright, 6-5

Forward/Center: JaMychal Green 6-8; Boban Marjanovic, 7-4

Guard: Landry Shamet, 6-4; J.J. Barea, 5-10

Forward: Patrick Patterson, 6-8; Justin Jackson, 6-7

No bench in the NBA scores more than the Clippers’, but with Harrell expected to emerge from quarantine only hours before tipoff, his usual production — 18 points and seven rebounds per game — is hardly guaranteed. Shamet hasn’t played since Aug. 9 because of a strained left foot.


Past matchups between these teams have become chess matches between championship coaches Doc Rivers and Rick Carlisle. They are two of the longest-tenured coaches in the NBA, with 1,737 combined victories, but this is only their third time meeting in the playoffs and first since 2005.


The most worrisome trend for the Mavericks is their struggle to win close games. An offense that set a record for efficiency — 115.9 points per 100 possessions — bogs down to 99.2 during the last five minutes of games that are within five points. In clutch scenarios, Dallas is 17-24 this season and the Clippers are 19-13.

The Clippers had relative success keeping Luka Doncic under control in their three victories over the Dallas Mavericks this season.

Aug. 16, 2020