Thing Dallas Mavericks must do to win Game 6 over Jazz: 2. Defense
The Mavs defense has been strong with a terrific game plan for the entire series. Utah took over 40 3-pointers per game during the regular season, which was the second-most in the league, but Dallas has held them to 28.8 per night in the playoffs. Better yet, the Jazz are shooting just 27.8 percent from 3-point range in this series after making 36.0 percent in the regular season.
The Mavericks are forcing contested looks, especially from three-time All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Utah’s star was quick to give props to Mavericks wing Dorian Finney-Smith for his stellar defense. Doe-Doe has locked up Mitchell in this series, and the Jazz have not found a counter.
Utah is searching for answers on the offensive end of the floor, and Mitchell is far from the only player struggling in this series. Bojan Bogdanovic had some early success, but the Jazz are asking so much of him on the defensive end that his offense has trailed off. Jordan Clarkson has been their best offensive weapon in this series, and he could see a few more minutes and shots in Game 6.
Dallas needs to bring the same intensity and energy they had in Game 5 if they want to finish off the series in Utah. The Salt Lake City crowd will be buzzing, and the Mavericks could silence them early with strong defense. Expect the Mavs to stay connected and keep forcing difficult shots, and if they do that, they will have a chance to win and advance.