The Dallas Mavericks will return home to face the Utah Jazz in a pivotal Game 5. The Mavericks are coming off squandering a golden opportunity to push the Jazz to the brink of elimination. The Mavericks are still in control of the series as it is now a best-of-3 series with Luka Doncic healthy.
This will be the first time this postseason that the Mavericks are a betting favorite, as they are favored by three points according to DraftKings.
Here are the things to watch.
The Mavericks must stay out of foul trouble
The Mavericks allowed the Jazz to shoot 42 free throws in Game 4. Maxi Kleber was not even able to play 20 minutes before fouling out. The Jazz clearly realize the importance of Kleber which is why their practice for how to deal with his defense looked something like this.
The league admitted to making a mistake by failing to call a clear offensive foul on Mitchell that would have changed the game in the last two minutes report. That being said the Mavericks still have to find a way to battle through an unfriendly whistle if there is one.
Attack Donovan Mitchell defensively
Mitchell has been horrendous defensively in this series. The Mavericks destroyed the Jazz by attacking him and Jordan Clarkson repeatedly in Games 2 and 3. They must get back to this in Game 5 even if it means taking the ball out of Luka’s hands.
Basketball is a really simple game. The Jazz have made an institutional decision that they are going to give their opponents open threes rather than layups. That means that the Mavericks will continue to get good shots. They made them in Games 2 and 3. They missed far too many in Game 4. When they make them in Game 5, they will retake the series lead.
How to watch
Game 5 will be played at 8:30 pm CST at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. The game can be watched on TNT or Bally Sports Southwest.
Here’s the latest Moneyball Minute, looking at the most recent news from around the Dallas Mavericks as of this morning. Click here, the embed below, or seek out Mavs Moneyball podcast on your favorite feed.