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 / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Will Jalen Brunson hurt the Dallas Mavericks defense in the playoffs?

JB competes hard on both ends of the floor and has a high basketball IQ, but he is an undersized guard. Teams will target him in the postseason on the defensive end of the floor. Can Brunson hold his own against the best scorers in the league? Will he be able to produce more points than he gives up? His defense may be the biggest key to his minutes in the playoffs.

The Mavericks have a strong 108.7 defensive rating with Brunson on the floor, which is just below their 108.3 mark for the season that ranks sixth in the NBA. Their rating improves to 103.1 without JB. That does not tell the entire story for Brunson’s defense, but teams will look to attack him more in the playoffs.

Jalen Brunson used his 2021 postseason performance to motivate him, and the hard work resulted in a fourth-year leap. Can he transfer his gains over to the playoffs? JB will be a key piece for the Dallas Mavericks, and they are going to need production to win their first-round series. Will Brunson prove he is a bona fide starter regardless of the circumstances?

Next. 5 problems Mavs must address before playoffs. dark

JB’s production is one of the many things for MFFLs to watch in the playoffs. Be sure to catch the final nine regular-season games first, and check back to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on the Mavs.