The Dallas Mavericks head back to Utah to play the Jazz in the late game Thursday night on TNT. Dallas currently leads the series 3-2 and is going to try to win their second road game of the series.
At the moment, the Mavericks only have Tim Hardaway, Jr. on the injury report, where he’s been for sometime. Donovan Mitchell is listed as probable after suffering some kind of hamstring injury during the Monday night.
Interesting, the Mavericks are currently (as of 9pm Wednesday night) a 1 point underdog. I understand the game is in Utah and that Mitchell is playing, but after that whupping on Monday night, one might expect the line to favor Dallas.
Weathering the Utah burst
The Jazz are a proud basketball team made up of professionals. As much as we might be tired of them or think they’re done, this isn’t a team that’s simply going to quit.
At least, not immediately.
So the Mavericks need to work through whatever three point outburst or flurry of rim attacks the Jazz will inevitably hit to start the game or at some point in the third quarter, whenever it comes. Dallas will need to do what they’ve done often in 2022; keep pushing through and counterpunch harder.
Targeting Donovan Mitchell
We don’t really know how hurt Mitchell was or is. But he’s playing Thursday night and if he’s anything less than 100%, the Mavericks need to play him off the floor. He’s pretty bad at defense already, as explained here, so it should be part of the game plan regardless.
An offensive explosion from Mitchell is the best bet to have Utah beat the Mavericks, so if they can get him into foul trouble or expose him so badly on defense that he has to come out of the game (unlikely), that would be great in terms of wrapping up this series Thursday night.
Keeping composure on the road
It seems unlikely, but the aforementioned proud Jazz basketball team is exactly that, proud. Things have gotten chippy often in this series, and that’s normal. These teams have played each other nine times in four months.
The scuffle the other night with Hassan Whiteside may have been a bit overblown, but it’s still something to consider if Dallas takes a commanding lead or a play gets extra physical. The Mavericks must keep their heads about them and let the referees attempt to do their jobs.
How to Watch
Game 6 will be the late game on TNT, starting at 9pm CST.