The Dallas Mavericks are preparing to face the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The series kicks off on Saturday afternoon, and Dallas is likely to be without superstar Luka Doncic as he recovers from a calf strain. His status is the biggest question mark of the series, and it could sway the outcome depending on how fast the 23-year-old can get back on the floor.
The four versus five first-round match-up is always a coin flip in the NBA Playoffs, and the Mavericks split their four meetings against the Jazz during the regular season. Utah and Dallas both have clear weaknesses, and the series will come down to who does a better job at exploiting those deficiencies.
How can the Mavs defeat the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs? Do they need Luka Doncic in the lineup? What can Dallas do to swing the series? Here are five keys for the Mavs.
5 keys to Dallas Mavericks topping Utah Jazz in 2022 NBA Playoffs
Both coaches have multiple options they can use, and it could be a series of adjustments. Will head coach Jason Kidd pull the correct strings to ensure the Mavericks win? Expect Dallas to use a similar blueprint to the one the Clippers employed in the second round last year to upset the then top-seeded Jazz.
Here is a look at five keys for the Dallas Mavericks as they look to defeat the Utah Jazz for their first playoff series win since bringing the title back to Texas in 2011.