Adjustment Dallas Mavericks need to make in Game 2 vs. Suns: 5. Defense
The Suns shot 50.5 percent from the field in Game 1 and made 11 3-pointers. They have now shot 50 percent or better in all seven of their playoff games this year. Slowing down their offense will not be easy, but the Mavericks have to be better on the defensive end in Game 2.
This matchup was always going to be difficult for the Mavs' defense because the Suns are most comfortable taking the shots Dallas concedes. The Mavericks want to limit shots at the rim and beyond the 3-point line in favor of mid-range jumpers, so the Suns cooked them by going 16 of 28 from the mid-range in Game 1.
Can Dallas make schematic changes? Small ones on the margins are coming, but the Mavericks just need to limit open looks. The Suns took 45 shots with the defender at least four feet away in Game 1, including 24 3-pointers. Dallas must to get those numbers down in Game 2.
Wide-open shots were virtually non-existence for the Jazz in the opening round as they took just 14 per game, but the Suns blitzed Dallas for 22 in the series opener.
It was just one game and fans should expect their defense to be better. The Mavericks won their first-round series with defense by holding the Jazz under 101 points in four of the six contests, and they need that connected D to return if they want to have a chance to upset the Phoenix Suns.