X-factor that will decide Dallas Mavericks vs. Jazz playoff series: 4. 3-point shooting
The Jazz averaged 40.3 3-point attempts per game this season, which was the second-most in the league. They connected on 36.0 percent of those tries, which ranked 11th, but Utah relies heavily on outside shooting to score points.
The Mavericks are eighth in the NBA in attempts and 19th in percentage. They struggled to win games when the shots were not falling early in the season and were one fire when the calendar flipped over to 2022 because they shot 36.7 percent from long range.
Both teams are going to rely heavily on shooters in the series. Luka Doncic will be running pick and rolls to try to create mismatches as he drives into the paint. The 23-year-old superstar will take an easy bucket or kick out to a shooter for an open 3-pointer. Donovan Mitchell is going to do the same for the Jazz.
The series could rest on which team’s role players knock down shots. Fans have seen the Jazz go cold in recent fourth quarters because their jumpers are not falling. Will that continue into the playoffs? Expect the team that makes the most 3-pointers to advance to the second round of the playoffs.