Dallas Mavericks key to defeating Utah Jazz in playoffs: 4. Defeating the drop
The Utah Jazz love to defend the pick and roll with drop coverage. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert is going to sag into the paint as the other defender attempts to fight out the screen. Utah plays this way because Gobert is one of the best rim protectors in the NBA, and they need him inside to clean up for the Jazz’s shaky perimeter defense.
Luka Doncic is a master at carving up drop coverage. He goes to his step-back 3-pointer or attacks the mid-range area vacated by the big man dropping into the paint. When the 23-year-old superstar returns, he will consistently attack it until the Jazz are forced to switch their scheme.
Can Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie get the Jazz away from playing drop coverage? If Dallas can pull Gobert away from the rim, Utah’s defense will crumble, but the Mavericks' two best playmakers without Luka need to find ways to get buckets when the Jazz go to the drop coverage. Brunson will attack in the mid-range, and Dinwiddie will likely draw Gobert to him before kicking to a teammate at the rim for an easy bucket.
Forcing the Utah Jazz to switch out of their preferred drop coverage is a key to the Dallas Mavericks winning the series.