Key to Dallas Mavericks playoff success: 3. JB’s production
The Clippers virtually played Jalen Brunson off the floor in last year’s first-round postseason series. He scored fewer than ten points in five of the seven contests, including netting just two and playing under 11 minutes in two of the last three. Brunson struggled to make shots and defend against the Clippers' long rangy wings.
JB is the Mavericks' third-leading scorer this season. Tim Hardaway Jr. is unlikely to return from a foot injury, so the Mavericks needs the 6’1 guard scoring at least 15 a night in the postseason. Can he do it? Teams are going to put a wing on him and attempt to close down those gaps with physicality. Brunson is having a breakout fourth NBA season, but will his production carry over into the playoffs?
The 25-year-old guard is an important playmaker and ball-handler for Dallas too. The Mavericks were forced to overtax Luka Doncic in the 2021 playoffs because nobody else could effectively get the offense rolling. Can Brunson take some of that burden this year?
Having JB score 15 and dish out five dimes per game as he has in the regular season would almost guarantee the Dallas Mavericks a first-round victory. His production and ability to hold his own on the defensive end are things to watch in the playoffs.