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NBA Picks: May 12, 2022

By Lior Lampert

On paper, the Phoenix Suns have a clear roster advantage over the Dallas Mavericks. We are just one Suns win away and one Warriors win away from getting the Western Conference Finals matchup everyone wants to see. Yet still, we must not forget that the Mavericks have the best player in this series in Luka Doncic, and he won’t go down without a fight.

This Mavericks has done a great job of surrounding Luka Doncic with capable shooters and defenders. Players such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Jalen Brunson continue to make big impacts while no one on the Suns seems to be able to guard Luka. In a win or go home scenario, you have to think Doncic will leave it all out on the line tonight and do whatever he has to do to get this series back to Phoenix for a game 7.

On the other hand, the Suns have arguably the best closer in basketball in Chris Paul. He has taken over multiple fourth quarters in this postseason to propel his team to victory. CP3 is in pursuit of his first ring and the hunger and urgency to get there has clearly shown when he decides to take control over a game in the closing stages. Although, Paul has struggled (by his standards) of late. The Suns are going to need Devin Booker to continue his scoring efforts if they want to win this game and ultimately the series. The same goes for Deandre Ayton; the Suns have a clear mismatch and size advantage in the paint, but it feels as though they haven’t used it to their benefit just yet. Ayton needs to assert himself early in this game and establish a paint presence to open up space for Chris Paul and Booker to operate in the mid-range area that they love to work in.

The Suns feel like the easy pick in this scenario, but I cannot get myself to pick against someone as special as Doncic with his back up against the wall. The Mavericks have been great at home, especially defensively. Bet the Mavericks to take care of business at home and force a game 7 in Phoenix, as Chris Paul and Booker’s efforts will not be enough to overcome the “Luka Magic.” 

PICK: Mavericks Moneyline +110 (Caesars Sportsbook)

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