The Dallas Mavericks have the unenviable task of trying to beat the NBA’s best regular season team. Do they stand a chance against a Phoenix Suns team that has its star Devin Booker back?
Catch this game live on May 3, at 10:00 AM, Manila time.
Away: Dallas Mavericks (0-0, 0-0 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jalen Brunson
- SG: Luka Doncic
- SF: Reggie Bullock
- PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- C: Dwight Powell
The Mavericks did a good job of dispatching the Jazz in six games, especially when their first three games saw Luka Doncic sitting on the bench. They went 2-1 in those games, thanks to Jalen Brunson stepping up. He had a career-high 41 points in Game 2, and scored no less than 23 points through six games in the first round. He’ll need to keep playing fearless as the 27.8 points that he averaged per game will be sorely needed.
Dallas had a great time playing small ball against the Jazz as they effectively took away Rudy Gobert’s defensive threat by forcing him to play on the perimeter thanks to a pass-heavy game that saw the Frenchman forced out of position in the last few games of the series. They may not have as much success against the Suns, who have an elite defense as well as a more mobile DeAndre Ayton.
Luka Doncic has been up to his usual antics since coming back from his calf injury, and in three games against the Jazz averaged 29 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.3 steals and a block. Doncic only played against the Suns once this season, but produced 28 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and a steal while also turning the ball over eight times.
Home: Phoenix Suns (0-0, 0-0 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Chris Paul
- SG: Devin Booker
- SF: Mikal Bridges
- PF: Jae Crowder
- C: DeAndre Ayton
The Suns have their full starting group back up thanks to Devin Booker’s return in Game 6. He may have only contributed 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in the game, but the mental boost of having their young superstar back helped the Suns finish the series.
Chris Paul isn’t young, but he’s still playing like a superstar, and he closed out the Pelicans with a playoff record 14 of 14 made shots only the way to 33 points, five rebounds, eight assists and a steal. DeAndre Ayton’s size will also be a problem for the Mavericks, as he’s not quite as immobile as Rudy Gobert and has started to show an improved shot from the midrange.
Mikal Bridges is another player who is capable of scoring 30 points, which is an important trump card for the Suns especially since he’s also their best wing defender and a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year. Cameron Johnson is also capable of blowing up offensively, so the Suns have a lot of options beyond Booker when it comes to scoring the ball.
Spread: I believe the Suns have what it takes to cover the -5.5 spread.
Over/Under: The defenses won’t be as prepared as later games in this series, so I think the over 215 hits.