Big man that could cause Dallas Mavericks issues in postseason: 3. Nikola Jokic
The Mavs have taken two of the three meetings against the Nuggets this season, but they have had no answers for Nikola Jokic. The MVP frontrunner fell one rebound short of a 26-point triple-double in the most recent matchup. He had 38 points and 11 rebounds against Dallas back in early January.
Jokic is a difficult matchup for any big man. His combination of size and playmaking ability is unique. The Nuggets will throw even more offensive responsibility on his shoulders after the season-ending injury to Jamal Murray. He is averaging a career-high 26.4 points per game this year on 41.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. His incredible offensive skill will be a problem for any opponent.
Can Kristaps Porzingis slow him down? Will Dallas put Maxi Kleber or Dorian Finney-Smith on the Joker? Does coach Rick Carlisle get bold and use Boban Marjanovic to try to slow down his fellow countryman?
The Mavericks may not have to worry about it. The Nuggets currently sit fourth in the Western Conference and are most likely to finish there or in fifth, which presumably puts them on the opposite half of the bracket from the Mavs. Still, Jokic would be a massive problem for Dallas in a playoff series.
Next: No. 2