NBA Playoffs, Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz

The position after Game 5 could hardly be better for the Dallas Mavericks, with only one win left to reach the second round of the playoffs. In the blow against Utah, Luka Doncic finally wipes away all worries about his fold. But the real star of the game is somewhere else. Insight into the game.

1. Mavs vs. Jazz: Who should stop this backcourt duo?

The Jazz probably feared that such a thing would happen after Luka Doncic returned. Even in the first three games without Mavs Superstar, the perimeter defense was one reason two games went wrong. During his comeback in the fourth duel, Utah still benefited from the fact that a lot went wrong for Dallas. But now Utah was hopelessly inferior to the Mavs backfield.

Jazz fans should look away for a moment as we compare the numbers for the two starting backs. Doncic and Jalen Brunson are on one side with a total of 57 points and 9 assists – and on the other side are Donovan Mitchell and Mike Conley with 13 points and 6 assists. Again, these are the cumulative numbers.

The Mavs duo managed to separate their opponents’ defense almost at will. Bojan Bogdanovic, who also took on the biggest defensive burden against Doncic in match 4, was mostly lost. In 57.5 possessions, which Bogdanovic defended against the Slovenes in games 4 and 5, Dallas scored 68 points for an offensive rating of 118.3.

Things did not look much better for Utah when Doncic and Brunson attacked the other perimeter defenders, be it Mitchell, Conley, Jordan Clarkson or Royce O’Neale. All too often, the Mavs guards found their way into the zone via dribble penetration, where they either do not be afraid of agreements against Rudy Gobert had or put it to Dwight Powell for light dunks, for example. The latter had three dunks and a layup in the early minutes.

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