The Dallas Mavericks are back on top after winning Game 3 in Utah. Here are 20 thoughts on the game, including the Mavs’ mini-Draymond, possible solutions for Utah, and an enigmatic Donovan Mitchell.
1. The Mavs hadn’t won in Salt Lake City for six years, and now the oil slick ended in the playoffs everywhere. At the time, Donovan Mitchell was still an unknown freshman in college and averaged 7 points there, the Mavericks’ backcourt consisted of Deron Williams and JJ Barea. Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points and was also present in Game 3.
2. The German liked what the best Maverick of all time saw: “Our game plan was phenomenal for three games,” Nowitzki said happily. in the halftime interview with Marc Stein. “We take out the three, avoid the lobs on Gobert. (…) We move the ball, play the kick passes. It’s wonderful to watch.”
3. You don’t want to contradict Dirkster. The Mavs played a first half after a difficult first few minutes. Jalen Brunson hit his floaters and short jumpers, while Spencer Dinwiddie put pressure on the defense with his drives. Utah had no answers, again allowing one three-way opening after another. After 22 trebles in Game 2, it was 13 again after 24 minutes (out of 25 attempts).
4. Sagittarius number one? Once again Maxi Kleber, who suddenly makes the nets shine after his nasty fall (18.8% trio since ASG). “It was good to make those moves,” said Kleber, who scored 17 points (6/7 FG, 4/5 three) in 22 minutes. Foul issues prevented a better stat line, but the Würzburger was essential to the Mavs’ success, but more on that later.
Dallas Mavericks: Josh Green’s Shine
5. The unsung hero of the first half was Josh Green. “He was amazing,” coach Jason Kidd said, not exaggerating in the slightest. Green is sometimes difficult to understand as a player, as his style is somewhat unique. But precisely this uncertainty can make it difficult for the opponent. This time the guard also managed to be valuable at both ends of the field.
6. Of course, the 6 assists caught the eye and covered the entire spectrum. There was something of the namesake Draymond in the way the young Mavs created open shots for his teammates without even thinking about a shot. An easy transfer to Davis Bertans followed by a good screen – three open points. A drive over the baseline with a one-handed pass to the other corner (Luka must have been proud) – three-point open. Green was a big factor in Dallas winning the minutes without Brunson (+9) because of his actions that kept Utah’s defense spinning.
7. His influence on defense was equally great. Green has incredibly fast hands and continues to surprise his opponents. Thanks to good footwork he can get ahead of them, even a Donovan Mitchell didn’t always have it easy. The question now is whether Green can do this consistently. Here and there, sophomores hesitate too much on the perimeter, which can hamper the flow of attack. If he hits at least 35% consistently over a long period of time, he is an important long-term rotation player. In Game 3, he undoubtedly was.
When did Mitchell forget or stop defending?
8. The Mavs had 41 points in the second quarter and led by 17 points at halftime – much to the chagrin of home fans. There shouldn’t have been so many boos in Salt Lake City for a long time, and Mitchell didn’t have a problem with that either: “If I had sat in front of the television as a fan, I would have booed as loudly as I could. It’s nothing personal. if we did our job and we didn’t.”
9. And it was really embarrassing what the Jazz offered on defense, especially Mitchell, who sometimes provided alibi defense. What really happened to Mitchell who entered the NBA as a potential jail dog and recorded 8 steals in a Summer League game? The facilities are still there. For actions like this there can’t be an excuse in the playoffs.
10. Sure, the offensive load is huge, but at the same time Utah has enough other ball handlers like Mike Conley, Jordan Clarkson or even Bojan Bogdanovic to give Mitchell breaks in offense. It remains a mystery, the same applies to the weak first half, in which Mitchell only scored 4 points as in Game 1.