4 Struggling Mavericks who must step up to take down the Thunder

Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Dante Exum

The story of the entire playoffs for the Dallas Mavericks has been the disappointing play of Dante Exum, but Game 4 was a huge step in the right direction. Exum finished with five points in his five minutes of action while shooting 2-4 from the field and 1-1 from downtown.

Exum had shown no confidence throughout the entire playoffs and his shooting has been horrendous but his performance in Game 4 was promising.

For the entire 2024 NBA Playoffs, Exum is averaging 1.9 points per game while shooting 24.1 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from downtown. This was a huge shock considering how good he was during the regular season, and he has been the weak link of the Mavericks rotation.

When handling the ball, Exum has not been showing much assertiveness at all, and all of his strengths from the regular season, including his shooting, have crumbled. Exum has still brought good defense, but the Mavs need more out of him in his limited minutes.

If Exum can replicate his impact from Game 4 consistently, his minutes will only go up. The Mavs may need some sort of spark after that crushing Game 4 loss, and Exum could be an unspoken X-factor for the rest of the series.

Knocking down open shots, taking care of the ball, and playing good defense will be key for him.