Ranking mismatches for Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to hunt vs. Suns: 1. Shamet
Landy Shamet was out of the rotation at the start of the series against the Pelicans before getting a chance in Game 2 and playing a key bench role in every other game. The 6’4 guard gives the Suns another floor spacer and shooter to open up their attack.
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks will attempt to play Shamet off the floor too by attacking him. Can he hold up? He will have a size edge on Jalen Brunson but will be too small to guard Doncic. Only three Suns were in the negative in FiveThirtyEight’s defensive RAPTOR this season, and Shamet was the second-worst among them.
In Game 6 against the Pelicans, every Suns starter played 30-plus minutes with Mikal Bridges and Deandre Ayton stretching over 40. Phoenix will need their starters to play massive minutes in this series because Luka Doncic is going to play 40-plus, and he will feast when their bench gets on the floor with guards Landry Shamet and Cameron Payne being his top targets.
The Dallas Mavericks are already embracing the underdog role in this series. Most experts were picking the Suns to win the Western Conference since the start of the season, and the Mavs have a tall task ahead of them but do not count out Luka Doncic and company. They have been an elite team in 2022 and could pull the upset in a cannot miss series.