By DaVince “Dino” Wright
The Dallas Mavericks have clinched a playoff spot and start their first round series against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. “It’s the home cooking for me”, PG Jalen Brunson shared on Wednesday night. “We have to start off hot and maintain control of the game!” he also shared. Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic is out for Game 1 with a calf strain that he suffered in the Mavericks last regular season game. Dallas has a chance to display guard Spencer Dinwiddie’s talents on both ends of the floor. “Spencer can carry this team in Luka’s absence”, Head coach Jason Kidd shared. “He doesn’t need any plays called for him, he can create off the dribble”. Dallas could easily make it to the second of this year’s playoffs. Dallas is a decent home team with only 12 losses at home this season. The Utah Jazz is one of three teams that doesn’t have any players on the injured reserved or questionable list heading into the NBA’s second season. Let’s take a look at the match for the Mavericks in the first round.
4/16 – 12:00 p.m. – Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks – Game 1 – TV: ESPN
Dallas has a chance to keep up their winning ways and get a win in the first game. PG Jalen Bronson’s stats are through the roof when Luka is out of the line up. He will be the catalyst for the Mavericks during this game. He makes great plays and distributes the ball early in the shot clock. His assists/turnover ration is in the top 5 in the NBA this year. Final Score: Jazz 82 – Mavericks 117!
4/18 – 7:30 p.m. – Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks – Game 2 – TV: NBA TV
This is a crucial game for Dallas. If Dallas wins Game 1, they will need to win Game 2 as well to gain momentum before heading on the road. Luka should be back in the starting line up, but will he be rusty after the calf strain injury? Regardless his teammates will need to step. Dallas will need to control the boards and allow Dwight Powell to get some touches on the block! No matter the result of Game 1, this game is extremely important for the Mavericks. Final Score: Jazz 98 – Mavericks 106!
4/21 – 8:00 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz – Game 3 – TV: NBATV
Utah is slated to win this one at home. ESPN has the Jazz with a 75.5% chance of beating Dallas at home. Utah is a pretty good team at home and while Dallas has beaten some of the best teams on the road. Utah holds an edge over the Mavericks this season. Look for Dallas to take a fall in Game 3, but will bounce back in Game 4! Final Score: Mavericks 100 – Jazz 109!
4/23 – 3:30 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz – Game 4 – TV: TNT
Dallas will need to win this one to swing the momentum back in Dallas’ favor. Dallas will need to control the boards and play transition defense. Utah is a good team that loves to run. Containing Utah’s point guard Donovan Mitchell will be the key to victory for Dallas. Look for the Mavericks to pull it out heading back to Dallas. Final Score: Mavericks 110 – Jazz 101!
4/25 – tbd – Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks – Game 5 – *if necessary
4/28 – tbd – Dallas Mavericks vs Utah Jazz – Game 6 – *if necessary
4/30 – tbd – Utah Jazz vs Dallas Mavericks – Game 7 – *if necessary