Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks Game 2 playoff loss to Suns: 2. Foul trouble
Fouls were a massive part of the game on Wednesday night. The two sides combined for 52 personals and 45 free throws. The Mavericks were losing the foul battle for most of the game, but Phoenix ended up with the 28 to 26 edge.
Foul trouble forced Jason Kidd to alter his rotations on Wednesday night. Jalen Brunson picked up two quick fouls and hit the bench with more than five minutes left in the opening quarter. Dorian Finney-Smith had three early fouls, and his minutes were also limited. Dallas needed both players on the floor to have a chance on Wednesday night, but fouls made it unrealistic.
Both sides dealt with foul trouble on May 4. JaVale McGee had five fouls as Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Cameron Johnson all finished with four for the Suns. Phoenix is a tough place to play, and the Mavericks just did not have the energy to top them.
The fouls were a significant factor in the game. The Suns were exploiting the whistle and taking easy points at the free-throw line. They got Dallas into the penalty and made them pay in Game 2.
The Dallas Mavericks cannot afford to foul. It was the second straight game Jalen Brunson dealt with early foul trouble, and it forced the team’s best defender to the bench in the first half. Dallas needs more from both players moving forward, so they must defend without fouling.