The Dallas Mavericks will open the playoffs up at home for the first time in 11 years as they host the Utah Jazz on April 16. The two teams are on the opposite trajectories coming into the postseason. Since the start of 2022, the Mavericks are 35-12, which is good for the second-best record in the NBA, while the Jazz are a pedestrian 23-24.
Even with reported relationship issues with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz are still a talented and dangerous team that the Mavs can not look past. With Luka Doncic's availability in question, the Mavericks will need all hands on deck. Even if Luka can play in Game 1 and onwards, the reality is that he's probably going to be seriously bothered by this calf injury, so roles will expanded across the roster.
The team will need significant contributions from Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, and it's essential the shooters on this team capitalize on the looks they get throughout this series. Perhaps the two most crucial pieces for the Mavs in this series will be the Dallas big men. Both Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber will play massive parts in who ultimately wins this series.
Why Dallas Mavericks big men are the biggest key in playoff series versus Jazz
Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber will be tasked to deal with who I think is the Jazz's most crucial player in Rudy Gobert. They won't be asked to do it alone, but how they perform against the three-time Defensive Player of the Year is paramount. DP and Maxi do very different things, and I think we need to highlight what they do that will cause Gobert some problems.