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X-factors in Dallas Mavericks-Golden State Warriors series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

Spencer Dinwiddie's skillset will be vital for the Dallas Mavericks while Andrew Wiggins' defense on Luka Doncic will be pivotal. Whoever has a better playoff series between them could decide the outcome of the Western Conference Finals.
X-factors in Mavs-GSW series: Spencer Dinwiddie, Andrew Wiggins

As in any playoff series, the superstars on both teams would cancel each other out, which means it now depends on the role players if they want to tip the tide in their favor.

The Western Conference Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors have the makings of an epic series: many superstars and a bunch of players eager to prove themselves against battle-tested veterans. However, the game-changers could be the new boys from both teams.

X-factor for Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks need to play their A-game every night if they want to have a chance against the Golden State Warriors. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry are not Devin Booker and Chris Paul; these guys are ruthless killers and proven clutch performers. As in any playoff series, the superstars on both teams would cancel each other out, which means it now depends on the role players if they want to tip the tide in their favor.

Spencer Dinwiddie has not even played an entire season yet for the Mavericks, but their potential finals stint could depend on how he performs in this series. The front office flipped Kristaps Porzingis for this guy and Davis Bertans. Dinwiddie showed flashes of why the Mavs won that gamble with clutch performances in the offseason, including scoring 30 points in an elimination game. Dinwiddie is not expected to average 30 points in the series vs. GSW, but he must provide stability on the playmaking side and enough offensive support for Luka Doncic.

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Jalen Brunson could also be an x-factor, but Dinwiddie’s skillset impacts more areas of the game. For example, he could give Luka some rest minutes by directing the traffic as a point guard or become a second option on offense, given his ability to attack the paint and make catch-and-shoot 3s. Given his length and quickness, the former Washington Wizards guard could also provide a solid defense on Steph Curry.

Stopping the whole GSW squad takes commitment from the entire Dallas team. The Conference Finals is the perfect stage for Spencer Dinwiddie to show everyone he’s a better running partner for Luka Doncic than KP.

X-factor for Golden State Warriors

Andrew Wiggins has only played for the GSW for three seasons, but he’s already part of the franchise’s plans for the future. He was named an All-Star starter this season, which raised some eyebrows from the fans, but he has the chance to prove them wrong once again if he delivers the goods against the Mavericks.

The Warriors have no shortage in the scoring department, and Wiggins’ most significant contribution could come on the defensive end: guarding Luka Doncic. The Slovenian wunderkind ate the Phoenix Suns’ defense for breakfast in games 6 and 7, including Defensive Player of the Year runner-up Mikal Bridges. Could Wiggins frustrate and make things harder for Luka? Stopping the Mavs star player would be hard but not impossible. Is Andrew up for the challenge? He specifically asked coach Steve Kerr to cover Tyus Jones in Game 6 of their playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. Jones went 2-12 from the field. While Tyus is no Doncic, this shows what Andrew could do when he’s committed on defense. Stephen Curry believes in his teammate and what he brings on the floor.

"For him, it's just a matter of if he's locked in and engaged, in terms of what that actually means with what he's focused on on the court. That's being physical on defense, taking those matchups seriously, taking on the challenge of it, rebounding the basketball and then just being aggressive on offense -- attacking the paint or taking open shots. When all that happens, he has a different impact on the game, and we all appreciate and know it makes us better."

Dinwiddie and Wiggins are the newcomers, but they could be the difference in this series which promises to be an epic one. They were considered outcasts in their former teams but have found a home in Dallas and Golden State. There is no better stage for a breakout series than the Conference Finals. 

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