What: Phoenix Suns (2-0) vs. Dallas Mavericks (0-2), Conference Semi-Finals, 2022 NBA Playoffs
When: 6:30 p.m. AZ Time
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
Listen: 98.7 FM
Entering the series many questioned Devin Booker’s health coming off a pretty poor showing in game six by his standards (13 points on 12 shots). But after seeing Book cook in the first two games of the Western Conference Semifinals it is safe to say that his health issues are no more.
Through the first two games the Suns are averaging an absurd 125 points per game against a team that finished top 10 in defensive rating. Booker and Paul have taken the scoring charge for Phoenix with averages of 26 and 23 points per game respectively.
The Suns are also approaching a relatively unknown playoff record and could break it in this series
The Suns have now shot 50%+ from the field in each of their last eight Playoff games, passing the 1986 Los Angeles Lakers for the 2nd-longest such streak in a single postseason during the shot-clock era (since 1954-1955). pic.twitter.com/7zHz4pYsZQ— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) May 5, 2022
The Mavericks have been better at home this season than on the road so game three should be the most competitive matchup so far (not saying much). On the offensive end, the Suns have had no answers for how to stop 23-year-old prodigy Luka Doncic.
While it’s only been two games, Doncic is on pace to become the sixth player ever to average at least 40 points in a playoff series and would be the first to do so since Michael Jordan.
In his 18 career playoff games, Doncic became the third player ever to score 600 points through 18 games (behind Jordan and Chamberlain) and became the tenth player to ever average at least 30 points per game through 18 playoff games.
These stats and records are quite impressive and there is no doubt Luka is going to finish extremely high on the all time rankings when his career is finished but for now this is the Suns’ league (at least out west).
What Doncic provides his Mavericks on offense is canceled out by his defense as in game 2 the Suns torched Luka over and over again.
The Suns are RELENTLESSLY hunting Luka pic.twitter.com/WS9ZQQXYG3— Half Court Hoops (@HalfCourtHoops) May 5, 2022
As long as Luka keeps playing “defense” like that, there is no hope for Dallas in this series.
Prediction: Suns 116, Mavericks 111