Former NBA Champion Destroyed Rudy Gobert as Luka Doncic’s Mavericks Suffer a Loss to Chris Paul’s Suns: “This Isn’t Gobert or Whiteside”

Published 05/03/2022, 4:30 PM EDT
Apr 28, 2022; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts to free throws in the final seconds in a game against the Utah Jazz during game six of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The second round of the NBA playoffs has kicked off. Mavericks versus the Suns and Warriors versus the Grizzlies are the two semifinal series of the West. The Suns hosted the Mavs for game 1, giving Dallas a tough time on the court. The Mavs were not favored to get past the first round, as Luka Doncic was injured and didn’t play the first two games. However, players like Brunson and Dinwiddie stepped up.

The Suns beat Dallas by 7 points, 121-114. Phoenix held the momentum for long enough, which had the Mavis grind it out in the last quarter. Hence, going into the second round, it seems like the Mavs will need a change of plans. Notably, coach Kidd was concerned about the Suns’ scorers.

Luka Doncic grabbed more boards than Ayton

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Till the end of the third, the result was obvious, but the Mavs did not back down. Dallas outscored the Suns, 35-25 in the fourth after being down 17. While playing against the Jazz, Dallas was adjusting on rebounds greatly. Even though Rudy Gobert had a tough time scoring, he was present on rebounds.

Whereas Whiteside, Jazz’s backup center, he didn’t seem to be a threat. Jason Kidd, the head coach, will look to change the game plan against the Suns, going up against scorers like Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and a dominant center DeAndre Ayton. Speaking on his preparations for the second round, he said, “Our game plan for the Jazz isn’t going to work against the Suns. This isn’t Gobert or Whiteside. These guys can put the ball in the basket.”

Ayton averaged 20 points and 9.8 rebounds against the Pelicans. But in game 1, Doncic set off and seemed unstoppable. He put up 45 points, 8 assists, and whopping 12 rebounds. Despite a dominant performance, the Mavs couldn’t stop the Suns’ combined offense. Ayton led the team in scoring, putting up 25 followed by Booker who scored 23. All the starters were in double figures for the Suns.

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Can the Mavs hold the Suns?

This series is going to be tough for the Mavs. Ayton and McGee pose an imminent threat in the paint, whereas Booker and Paul are dominant from the mid-range. Suns’ three-point shooting is more consistent in transition. The Mavs don’t have a reliable big man, though their bids are better at scoring from the outside.

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Players like Brunson and Dinwiddie will have to perform as they did in the last series to take the load off of Luka. Whereas defensively, it will be a tough job to stop the two players who are a threat in the mid-range as well as from the distance. It will be interesting to see what Jason Kidd will plan for the next games.

WATCH THIS STORY: Luka Doncic, Who Was Trash Talked by Kobe Bryant in Slovenian, Reveals the Invaluable Advice the Lakers Legend Gave Him

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Balraj Singh Babrah

184 articles

Balraj Singh Babrah is an NBA writer with EssentiallySports. He has been an NBA fan since 2016, and watching Curry shoot from distance inspired him to play basketball. Additionally, he loves analyzing and predicting games based on stats.

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