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Game 2 Preview: Suns look to protect home court advantage against Mavericks

Expect an energized Mavs squad to start Game 2.

2022 NBA Playoffs - Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

What: Phoenix Suns (1-0) vs. Dallas Mavericks (0-1)

When: 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Where: Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ

Watch: TNT

Listen: 98.7 FM

DraftKings Betting Lines:


The Suns are feeling confident after a solid Game 1 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. But the key to success in the playoffs is to compartmentalize each game, learn from it, and move onto the next one. It’s “one game at a time” mode for the Suns and the most important one is the next one.

The Mavericks had plenty of success in their first-round matchup against the Utah Jazz, but the defensive intensity displayed by the Suns in Game 1 was something for which the team did not appear to be prepared. Sure, their offense began to click, particularly in a 35-point fourth quarter. But they let Phoenix jump on them in the first quarter, falling behind by ten points after one, and the Suns never let the game get away from them.

Jason Kidd will makes his adjustments, focusing primarily on increasing defensive intensity. Will it be enough? That is why we tune in ladies and gentlemen.

Starting Lineups

Uniform Tracker

Out/Injured

Phoenix:

  • Dario Saric (knee) is OUT

Dallas:

  • Tim Hardaway, Jr. (foot) is OUT

What to Watch For

The Dallas Mavericks will look to bounce back against the Phoenix Suns by incorporating more of their scoring threats other than Luka Doncic. Luka put up an impressive 45 points in Game 1, but his team ultimately fell short due to a lack of production outside of his performance. The Mavericks will put more emphasis on attacking the interior, rebounding, and defending the perimeter. These are opportunities that were missed in Game 1.

The Suns on the other hand look to do more of the same. They want Luka Doncic to be the primary shooter, using his energy to put points on the scoreboard. In Game 1, the tiring effect of making Doncic work on both ends, having him in every defensive action, and making him work for every point was a successful strategy. Dallas will make adjustments, the Phoenix Suns with their switchable defense will have to funnel Luka to the spots that they want him to operate.

Keys to a Suns Win

It’s been a challenge for Phoenix thus far in this postseason, but staying out of foul trouble will be the number one key to a win for the Phoenix Suns. Luka is a foul baiter. Jalen Brunson attacks the interior as well. This is a team that wants to play at the slowest pace in the NBA, and that is something they have done in both the playoffs and the regular season. They do so by slowing the game down and lulling the opposition to sleep. They want to be at the line in this game while disrupting the Suns’ rotations with foul trouble.

If Phoenix can play smart and not fall into the trap of fouling the Mavs, it’s an easy win for the Suns.

Prediction

I see the re-emergence of Devin Booker on the horizon, and with the Twins operating in full effect, slashing and gashing the Mavericks defense, this will be an easy win for Phoenix.

Suns 123, Mavericks 105

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