Jalen Brunson is the linchpin of the Dallas Mavericks playoff hopes

Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson
Dallas Mavericks, Jalen Brunson / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Brunson needs to keep Dallas Mavericks second unit afloat in the playoffs

Brunson’s minutes decreased as last year’s series against the Clippers wore on, including him playing just over ten minutes in two of the final three contests. His lack of playing time put a larger burden on superstar Luka Doncic to handle the ball and make plays, which likely contributed to his fourth-quarter struggles in an otherwise otherworldly series by the Mavs superstar.

Dallas traded for Spencer Dinwiddie in the Kristaps Porzingis deal to give them another ball-handler. It allows head coach Jason Kidd to keep two playmakers on the floor at all times.

Both Brunson and Dinwiddie will be important to the offense as they can take pressure off Luka and allow him to rest. Fans know number 77 is going to be shine on the biggest stages, so keeping his energy up will be a massive boost to the Mavs chances of advancing.

Coach Kidd will be quick to go back to Luka Doncic if the second unit struggles, so it is important that Brunson makes plays and shots. Dinwiddie will likely be the primary ball-handler, but the Mavs will need an outlet and second option if the opposition closes down the paint.

For the Dallas Mavericks, it will likely come down to how effective Jalen Brunson can be in the series.