Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 1 playoff loss to Suns: 2. Need Brunson
Jalen Brunson became the Mavs' second-leading scorer during his breakout fourth NBA season, and he was arguably the team’s MVP during their first-round series against the Utah Jazz. JB averaged 27.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game on 48.4 percent shooting from the field in the opening round.
Brunson could not get going in Game 1 against the Suns. He missed his first three field goals before heading to the bench early in the opening quarter with two fouls. JB had just three points on one of six shooting in the first half as Dallas trailed by 13 at the break.
Brunson was better in the second half, but he finished with 13 points on six of 16 shooting from the field. The 25-year-old had four rebounds, three assists, and one steal in his 31 minutes of action. His playing time was limited in Game 1, but the Mavericks need more production from Brunson moving forward.
The Suns started the game with Jae Crowder guarding JB, and they were not afraid to switch. Brunson struggled against Crowder’s size and strength.
The Mavericks need to find some way to get the 6’1 guard going in Game 2. They need him scoring 20 on efficient shooting if they are going to have a chance in this series. Can Jalen Brunson produce it? He struggled in Game 1 and needs to be better moving forward.