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Dallas Mavericks: 5 keys to victory in LA Clippers series

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Dorian Finney-Smith Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Mavericks key to victory over LA Clippers: 5. Role players

To say a series with this much star power could be decided by role players seems crazy. The Clippers are going to sell out to stop Luka Doncic. Head coach Ty Lue discussed his plans to slow down the Mavericks in his postgame press conference of the Clippers regular-season finale.

"“We know we play with a guy who controls the whole tempo of the game in Luka by scoring, rebounding, passing, and making his teammates better. We know he is the head of the snake, and it is going to be a tough challenge. We’ve got to give him different looks. We can’t let him be comfortable. Just keep mixing up throughout the course of the game. Blitz him a little bit, fire on him a little bit, switching a little bit, so we want to keep him off balance as much as possible.”"

LA will commit plenty of attention to slowing down Doncic. The Mavericks role players will need to step up and make open shots. Tim Hardaway Jr. must be the team’s third scorer and open shot maker. Jalen Brunson, Josh Richardson, and Dwight Powell need to give Dallas key minutes.

Dorian Finney-Smith must slow down one of the Clippers stars and knock down open shots. He is the Mavericks most important role player in the series. Doe-Doe was 11 of 30 from 3-point range against the Clippers in the 2020 playoffs, but he passed up a few open looks. They need him firing away and connecting to keep the offense rolling.

Will Rajon Rondo keep the Clippers offense from stagnating? Did they upgrade by swapping Montrezl Harrell for Serge Ibaka? Can Marcus Morris Sr. keep Luka in check? Contributions from role players on both sides will play a key role in this series.

Next: No. 4