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Why Mavericks big men are the biggest keys in playoff series versus Jazz

Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell
Dallas Mavericks, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Dwight Powell
Dallas Mavericks, Dwight Powell / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dwight Powell needs to make Rudy Gobert work in Dallas Mavericks vs. Jazz playoff series

Starting with DP, the two vital things he brings to this team are his relentless effort on both sides of the ball and his ability as a roller when he's playing with Luka.

Even with how good Rudy Gobert is in the pick and roll, the Jazz has been shredded by the Mavs. Mainly because Utah has only one good wing defender in Royce O'Neal, and he's a bigger wing who has trouble fighting off of screens that smaller guards typically can. And even though Gobert does a good job switching on the perimeter, that isn't something the Jazz will do consistently. DP will need to finish at the rim and capitalize on the Jazz's poor pick and roll defense.

As I mentioned earlier, the one thing you can always count on with Dwight Powell is his unwavering effort. It's hard to quantify effort statistically, but the one way it shows on the box score for DP is his high-level ability to create second-chance opportunities. He ranks 25th in the NBA in offensive rebounding at 2.1 per game.

This is impressive because DP is 125th in rebounds per game in the entire NBA, and the only reason he's that low is that he often is the guy boxing out opposing bigs for another Mavs player to collect the ball. Making Gobert work to box the energetic Powell out makes his job more challenging.

DP must keep Gobert off the offensive glass as Utah's big man averaged 3.7 offensive rebounds per game this season which was good for sixth in the NBA.

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