The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals for the 11th time in franchise history and first since 2011. Luka Doncic won his first NBA playoff series, but the team is not satisfied. Doncic has made it clear he wants to win a championship, and Dallas got one step closer by defeating the Jazz.
The Mavs move on to face the top-seeded Phoenix Suns in the second round of the playoffs. Phoenix won 64 games during the regular season, and they have won nine straight against Dallas dating back to 2019. Chris Paul and Devin Booker present matchup problems for the Mavericks, and the Suns' elite defense makes them a difficult opponent.
Luka and the Mavs can pull the upset, though. Since the calendar flipped to 2022, Dallas and Phoenix have the two best records in the NBA, and the series is shaping up to be a heavyweight showdown. How can the Mavericks win and advance?
5 keys to Dallas Mavericks defeating Suns in 2022 NBA Playoffs
The matchup will be a contrast in styles. Phoenix wants to play with a traditional center and favors a mid-range heavy shot profile as the Mavs prefer to play small with their attempts coming from 3-point range or at the rim. Can one team force the other into adapting to their style? It will be something to watch in the series.
What do the Dallas Mavericks have to do to pull the upset? Here are their five keys to the series.