The Dallas Mavericks took out the Utah Jazz to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since winning the championship in 2011. Luka Doncic missed the first three games with calf strain before returning in Game 4 to lead his team over the Jazz in six.
Things do not get any easier for the Mavs as they face the Phoenix Suns in the second round, who had the best regular-season record in the NBA. Devin Booker returned from a hamstring injury in Game 6 of their first-round series over the Pelicans, but there are questions about his health heading into round two. The Suns are deep and dangerous even with Booker at less than full strength.
Luka and the Mavericks are going to try to hunt mismatches in the series as they look to exploit the Suns' elite defense. Phoenix finished third in defensive rating during the regular season as Mikal Bridges was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year. Dallas can find cracks in the Suns' defense creating mismatches, but who should they target?
Ranking mismatches for Luka Doncic and Mavericks to hunt in playoff series vs. Suns
Suns coach Monty Williams has a difficult decision to make on who guards Doncic in this series. Bridges is the Suns' best defender, but no player can stop Luka one-on-one. Does that force Phoenix to put Bridges on Brunson to try to limit his production, and let Jae Crowder matchup on number 77? Do they think Chris Paul or Devin Booker can slow down JB to leave Bridges on Doncic?
No matter the matchup, Luka Doncic is going to run a ton of pick and rolls as he tries to force switches and hunt mismatches in the second-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns. Who should he target? Here is a ranking of the Suns' rotation from the worst to best matchup to target.