The Dallas Mavericks also won the fourth game of the semifinals of the conference and equalized their streak against the Phoenix Suns. Again, it’s remarkable that Mavs Defense Phoenix is struggling – and that Luka Doncic certainly has help. Insight into the game.
1. Maverick’s defense is genuine
After the second win in a row, one can probably no longer talk about a slip: Dallas found a way to thwart the Suns’ rhythm. After hitting at least 50 percent off the field in nine playoff games in a row, they failed for the second time (46 percent) and had their second-lowest score this post-season (after Game 3).
Phoenix had their share of it, but the Mavs again defended it strongly as a team. There was a lot of pressure on the ball-leading player, especially Reggie Bullock again played a big role in that the Suns were often slow to get to their offensive (or cross the center line).
Especially in the minutes with Maxi Kleber as the only big one, Mavs also consistently implemented that Phoenix’s stars (in the long run there was only one: Devin Booker) were blinking and mostly felt compelled to get the ball out of their hands. .
As a result, it was up to weaker offensive players to make decisions. Jae Crowder used some of the space, but Dallas could live with his 15 points, and for the most part, the Mavs managed to rotate quickly anyway, thus offering as little attacking space as possible. The whole team was involved, and Luka Doncic also played a mostly good match in that regard.
Of course, Booker still got 35 points, but he had to work hard for most of them – and Mavs could probably live with the throw distribution. Phoenix was massively deficient on the three-point line and rarely flowed through the match. The Suns almost slip across the field on their best days, but the Mavs have largely pulled the series in quicksand at home.
The Suns have now lost 17 revenue twice in a row. Throughout the regular season, there have only been four games where they had more – revenue is actually not their thing at all. In this match, the actually so clever best team of the season shot itself in the foot again and again.
2. Luka Doncic learned from Chris Paul
We mentioned Doncic’s good defense: His biggest contribution was probably the offensive mistakes he made. The same was true of Jalen Brunson. Mavs sold every contact, fell over, and convicted Booker of three offensive errors and two of an increasingly desperate Chris Paul.
It may sound critical, in fact the flop (on both sides) was exhausting to watch – but it worked and was (unfortunately) justified in this regard. And it was ironic that the “victim” was Paul of all people, who has probably manipulated more calls in his career than any other current NBA player.
“We’re being taught that by one of the best point guards ever on the opposite side. It’s pretty cool,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said after the game of making mistakes at key times, knowing the referees’ performance. would continue after this game will again be a big topic.
During match 3, Doncic himself indicated several times with a gesture to the audience that the referees had been bought – in this game he used them to his advantage. As just before the end of the second quarterfought for a rebound when he made contact with Paul and fell like … Paul.
“I learned that flop from you,” Doncic said immediately afterwards at the free throw line to CP3. In this game, the Slovenian maestro let his own medicine taste. Paul admitted some unfortunate calls, but he also took unnecessary risks and did not know how to adapt his game to the discerning line of the referees.
3. The Suns do not play Suns-y
Back to Sun’s attack. In fact, this team is famous for methodically looking for holes and finding them. The Suns reveal weaknesses, they exploit disagreements, they play intentionally and as a team. They did none of that in Game 4, at least not consistently.
In addition to losing the ball, they often lacked the concrete plan and the movement that makes them so strong. The permanent mismatch named Deandre Ayton hardly played a role again – in fact not to apologize, especially given the limited availability of Paul.
Dallas let Dwight Powell play for 10 minutes in this game, otherwise the Mavs only appeared with Kleber as the Big Man, who helped a lot on the wing. These were small lineups – the ones that Ayton can actually punish, as was shown in last year’s series against the Clippers.
Ayton, however, was rarely presented, almost no games were run to somehow make his physical dominance an advantage. Even after switching to smaller opponents, he did not get the ball or acted too hesitantly when he had it. Instead, he was almost a supporter, snatching 6 offensive rebounds, but did not give the Mavs the slightest reason to walk away from their small lineups.
Ayton is actually the kind of big man who can do just that – he does not just have to be a remnant, he has post moves, a very good hook shot, he can earn points. In fact, this game would have been a pretty good time to show it.