Adjustment for Dallas Mavericks to make in Game 5 vs. Jazz: 2. Embrace small ball
The Mavs took control of the series by playing small and forcing the Jazz to make difficult decisions on defense. Utah head coach Quin Snyder wants to keep Rudy Gobert or Hassan Whiteside on the floor at all times. It gives the Jazz a size advantage, but Dallas can exploit it by spacing the floor and knocking down shots when Utah’s center rotates into the paint to contest at the rim.
Dallas got away from their small-ball look down the stretch after Maxi Kleber fouled out. Dwight Powell was in the lineup at the five, but he is a non-shooter.
When Luka isolated, Powell had no choice but to play in the dunker spot, which resulted in a defender being in the paint when Doncic drove. This would have been an easy lay-up or wide-open 3-pointer if the Mavericks had another shooter on the floor.
Head coach Jason Kidd needs to fully embrace small ball down the stretch of Game 5. Powell was effective for the first time in the series as Luka found him for a few lobs, but having a non-shooter on the floor allows Rudy Gobert to stay in the paint. Dallas gets much better looks when they go small and play five out.
If Kleber is in foul trouble again, the Mavericks should consider playing Luka Doncic at the five with Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Jalen Brunson, and Spencer Dinwiddie on the floor. It was the group coach Kidd went with for the final play, but they played just 11 seconds together in Game 4.