Doncic is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game, so we may be looking at a similar matchup. Dallas proved that they could keep pace with Utah even without him, so the Jazz have their work cut out for them.
Game Date/Time: Monday, April 18th, 2022, 6:30 PM Mountain Time
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
LOCAL TV: NBATV, ATTSN-RM
RADIO: 97.5/1280 The Zone, or listen on the Utah Jazz app
Betting odds via draftkings.com
Spread: Jazz -5
Total: 205.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Jazz -220 Mavs +180
Keys to the game for Utah
The Jazz outrebounded the Mavericks 53-34, led by Rudy Gobert’s 17. Dallas plans to play small for much of this series, and that’s how Utah intends to punish them for it. When asked about the mavericks playing small, Gobert replied, “Everyone looks small to me.” Dallas may have to rethink their lineups if Utah can dominate the glass throughout the series.
Dallas shot 34 free throws in game one, including 16 in the fourth quarter. Utah was best in the league in the regular season in not allowing free throws, averaging only 19.3 free throw attempts per game by their opponent. Part of the Jazz defense is avoiding fouls, so the foul-fest was particularly detrimental to Utah’s game plan. The Jazz will need to keep themselves in check in game two by keeping Dallas off the free-throw line.
The Utah Jazz ranked 2nd in the NBA in three-point attempts during the regular season, averaging over 40 threes per game. In game one, they attempted only 22 and made only seven. Dallas’ defense was focused on pressuring ball-handlers in the pick-and-roll and not allowing pull-up threes. The Jazz countered by attacking the basket more, but they will need to find a way to get their three-point shot going again. The threat from shooters opens the floor for Donovan Mitchell drives, Rudy Gobert rolls, and Bojan Bogdanovic post-ups.
The Mavericks have lost their last 11 games in Utah, with their last win coming in 2016. If Utah wins game two, it will be very difficult for Dallas to make a comeback. Every game counts in the playoffs, but this one could be particularly important.
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