2 keys to Game 2 victory for OKC Thunder vs Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One
Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game One / Joshua Gateley/GettyImages
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Cut down onGordon Hayward and Josh Giddey’s minutes 

Dallas loves to hunt mismatches, so the Thunder must remove obvious targets from the court.

Gordon Hayward lacks the foot speed and anticipation to hold his own at this stage in his career, so he’s a defensive liability for Oklahoma City. The former All-Star is not compensating on the offensive end either, as he's had just two shot attempts in 38 minutes this postseason while his passing has not created many advantages. 

OKC must seriously consider benching him for the foreseeable future and dispense his minutes to players like Cason Wallace, Isaiah Joe, and Aaron Wiggins.

Those three are far more equipped to seamlessly switch on defense and survive for stretches against Doncic or Irving. Plus, their outside shooting and occasional off-the-dribble brilliance elevate the Thunder's offense to a higher level. 

Finally, although it may be painful for some to hear, Josh Giddey should see a reduced role.

He’s not a complete defensive liability, but Dallas can definitely generate advantages when attacking him on that side of the ball. Plus, the Mavericks are challenging Giddey’s shooting by placing their center on him and having the big man sag, which helps protect the paint against OKC’s drives. 

Overall, if Giddey is not shooting well, then coach Daigneault must be quick with the hook. Otherwise, he will bog down the offense through poor spacing and inefficient shooting.