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Why Dallas Mavericks want to face Utah Jazz in first round of playoffs

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Why Dallas Mavericks want to face Utah Jazz in playoffs: 3. Mismatches galore for Luka

Mavs superstar Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the league at hunting mismatches. Fans saw him put it on full display in the 2021 playoffs when he played Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac off the floor by relentlessly hunting them. Doncic is arguably the best pick and roll ball-handler in the league, and he will dictate the matchups to the opposition.

This is a massive problem for the Utah Jazz because they start an undersized backcourt and rely heavily on Rudy Gobert to cover for their mistakes. Doncic will hunt the rim protector to open the paint for teammates, which fans saw it against Giannis Antetokounmpo on Sunday afternoon. The Jazz offer Luka a buffet of matchups to pick on.

He will go after Mike Conley first. The 6’1 guard was the preferred target in the Mavericks' March 27 win over Utah without Gobert that vaulted Dallas into fourth in the West. Conley is a former All-Star, but he just has no hope of slowing down Luka. Doncic will post him up and bully the undersized guard.

Doncic will also target Jordan Clarkson, Donovan Mitchell, Hassan Whiteside, Rudy Gay, and Bojan Bogdanovic at points throughout the series. The 23-year-old superstar loves to keep the opposition guessing, and the Jazz will have no answers in slowing him down in a playoff series.

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