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Suns exploit defense of Luka Doncic in Game 2: How can Mavericks avoid a repeat?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Chris Paul / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Suns exploited the defense of Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic in Game 2

Chris Paul took Luka Doncic to school in the second half on Wednesday night. The Suns repeatedly forced the Mavs star to defend pick and rolls, and it resulted in a lot of Phoenix buckets like this one.

The Suns hunted Doncic repeatedly in the second half, and it was incredibly successful. Per Second Spectrum tracking (h/t to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon), Luka defended 19 on-ball screens in the second half, and the Suns scored 1.81 points per possession off them. It was basically an automatic bucket for Phoenix.

Doncic is a better defender than he gets credit for, but he struggled mightily in Game 2. The Suns are the best offensive team in the league, and they have a plan to exploit every defense. If Luka plays drop off the screen, the Suns pull up for a comfortable mid-range jumper. He attacks up, and Chris Paul or Devin Booker blows past him for a layup. Hedge somewhere in the middle, and they lob it to the rim or kick to an open shooter off the help.

Dallas has no chance in this series if the Phoenix Suns can score that easily for the rest of the series, so what can the Dallas Mavericks do about it?