The Dallas Mavericks made an improbable comeback to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 114-113 on April 14. The Grizzlies led most of the game, but Luka Doncic had an incredible second half to lift Dallas to victory. Lost in the Luka Magic and unbelievable game-winner was Memphis exposing one of the Mavs flaws.
Jonas Valanciunas dominated the paint on Wednesday night. He finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds on seven of 12 shooting from the field. JV was five of eight from the foul line in his 33 minutes. The 28-year-old big man had eight offensive rebounds, which led to 14 second-chance points for Memphis.
It was the second straight game Dallas was dominated in the paint by a big man. Joel Embiid produced 36 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action as the Sixers blew out the Mavericks on April 12. Let us take a closer look at the trend, what it could mean in the playoffs, and if Dallas can adjust to stop it going forward.
Grizzlies expose flaw but Luka Doncic’s heroics lift Dallas Mavericks to victory
The trend of big men dominating the Mavs does not end with their two most recent games. Valanciunas had 15 rebounds, including four offensive in their first meeting this season. Other big men have dominated too.
Rudy Gobert averaged 20.0 points, 15.7 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in the three matchups, including grabbing four offensive boards per game. Nikola Jokic has put up 28.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in his three meetings versus Dallas this season. Deandre Ayton averages 13.7 points and 14.0 rebounds against the Mavs, including grabbing 4.3 offensive boards per game.
The Dallas Mavericks must sort out the issue before the postseason.
Next: Mavs must slow down bigs