Key to Dallas Mavericks defeating Suns in 2022 NBA Playoffs: 5. Defense
The Mavs' defense led the way in their victory over the Jazz. Utah produced the highest offensive rating in the NBA during the regular season, but Dallas held them under 101 points in four of the six contests. Head coach Jason Kidd and his staff had a brilliant strategy to limit 3-point attempts and gain a math advantage that helped them win the series.
The Mavericks will have to adjust if they are going to keep up their elite defense. They finished seventh in defensive rating during the regular season, and they were flying around the court against Utah, but the Suns are comfortable shooting mid-range jumpers. Can Dallas slow down Chris Paul and Devin Booker? How does their defense change to combat the Suns' attack?
Deandre Ayton presents a difficult matchup for the Mavericks. The 6’11 big man averaged over 20 points and nearly ten rebounds per game in the Suns' first-round series against the Pelicans, and he will be looking to feast whenever Dallas goes small. Ayton nails mid-range jumpers and is an elite roll man, so the Mavericks will have to figure out some way to slow him down in this series.
The Dallas Mavericks need to play stout defense if they are going to upset the Phoenix Suns, but that won’t be easy thanks to their scheme and personnel. Dallas will look to force difficult shots and keep them under 100 points in every game. Can they do it? Stay tuned to find out.