Early in the season, things weren’t going well for the Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic looked to be out-of-shape, and the dynamics of the team just didn’t look right. The Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis experiment wasn’t working out the way that the Mavericks had hoped they would, and it was apparent that changes needed to be made.
At the trade deadline, Dallas decided to make a huge deal, as they traded Porzingis to the Washington Wizards for a package highlighted by Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie hadn’t been playing well in Washington, but he was rejuvenated by the trade to Dallas, and he’s been a big reason that Dallas is where they’re at today.
The Mavericks earned the #4 seed, and they’ll host the #5 seed, the Utah Jazz in Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series on Saturday afternoon. Heading into the series Dallas has won 20 of their last 27 games. While they’re the hot team, Utah is headed the other way, as they’ve lost seven of their last 11. In a few of those games, they blew big leads. Let’s have a look at both teams and how they arrive to this first game so you can make your bets against their NBA Playoffs Odds.
Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks – Game One Preview | NBA Playoffs Betting
Here are a few things to watch in this series.
- Who or What will stop Luka Doncic?
The reason we put the word “what” in the above statement is that Doncic injured his calf in the last regular season game. We’re not sure of the severity of the injury, but if he is hobbled, that’s going to be an issue for the Mavericks.
When these two have met in the past, Dallas has figured out how to get Rudy Gobert matched up against Doncic. Doncic has used his speed and quickness to exploit Gobert. We think that the Mavs will try and do this throughout the series. Doncic has been the main reason that the Mavericks shot up the Western Conference standings. He has been nearly unstoppable at times, and if he plays well in this series, the Jazz are in trouble.
- Can the Jazz find the right mix?
We’ve all heard the rumors that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert aren’t getting along. We’ve even seen some analysis showing that Mitchell isn’t getting the ball inside to Gobert when he should. We’ll see if that carries over into the playoffs, or if they can make things work.
Gobert has struggled in past playoffs because teams have made him move away from the basket on the defensive end. We figure that Dallas will try to do this. Gobert can’t let that bother his offensive game. What also can’t bother his offensive game is the fact that Mitchell and other will continue to bomb away from beyond the arc.
While Utah Jazz takes a lot of threes per game, if they’re not falling, things don’t go well for them. Utah never seems to deviate away from this plan, so if they’re not falling, they’ll still continue to shoot them instead of trying to score in different ways. If they are hitting, Dallas isn’t a real strong offensive squad, so that could lead to some big trouble for the Mavericks.