Dallas Mavericks: Can they stop Ivica Zubac in the playoffs?
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks roared to fifth in the Western Conference by winning 11 of their final 16 regular-season games. They were dead set against avoiding the play-in tournament. Luka Doncic was special as he helped the Mavs overcome a slow start to move up two spots in the difficult West from last season.
Dallas’ improvements did not change their first-round playoff matchup, though. They will face the LA Clippers for the second straight year. Kawhi Leonard was unstoppable as the Clippers won in six games inside the bubble, but both teams are considerably different in 2021 outside of their star talents.
One area where the Mavericks have struggled all season is against powerful centers. Dallas gets dominated on the glass and has trouble slowing them down. Jonas Valanciunas did it to the Mavs twice in the final month of the season. Do they have an answer for Clippers center Ivica Zubac?
Ivica Zubac had his way with the Dallas Mavericks in the past
In last season’s playoffs, Zubac averaged 11.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 24.8 minutes per game against the Mavericks. There were calls for more playing time, and it was deserved. LA outscored Dallas by 78 points in his 148.6 minutes on the court in the series. The Mavs were forced into going small with both Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell on the shelf for multiple games, but it was an impressive performance by the Clippers big man.
Ivica Zubac has carried it over to this season. Can the Dallas Mavericks stop the Clippers’ seven-foot big man? Here is a closer look at how he dominates Dallas before diving into the Mavs options to neutralize Zu.
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