The seedings are set for the NBA playoffs 2020 in both the conferences and teams are preparing to take the next step after the conclusion of the regular season in the Orlando bubble. Only LA Lakers are waiting to see whether they will play the Portland Trail Blazers or the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020. The Dallas Mavericks take on the mighty LA Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs 2020.
The Kawhi Leonard led and Doc Rivers coached LA Clippers can be a tough nut to crack, but the Dallas Mavericks certainly have the tools to upset the favourites in the first round of the NBA playoffs 2020.
We look at five things the Dallas Mavericks need to do in order to get past the LA Clippers in the first round of the NBA playoffs 2020:
#1- Luka Doncic needs to go berzerk against the LA Clippers defence
To say that the Dallas Mavericks star has had a stellar sophomore year is an understatement. The Slovenian has made an All-star leap in his second year itself, a feat which has been achieved by only a few NBA players in the past. At just 21 years old, an age where players tend to hone their skills in college, Doncic looks like a player who has spent multiple years in the NBA. He was given the point guard role by coach Rick Carlisle when he joined the team and his performances have certainly lived up to the management’s expectations.
He has averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists this NBA season .The numbers show that not only is he good at dishing dimes, but he is a very capable scorer and an able rebounder too. He has also averaged a steal every game which shows his defensive capability. The young Slovenian has also wreaked havoc in the NBA bubble, recording multiple triple-doubles against strong opposition.
Needless to say, in order to get past the LA Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks will be relying on this mercurial talent. Luka Doncic is a multiple threat, and if he goes off for even 3-4 games in a seven game series then the Dallas Mavericks stand a very good chance of getting the win over the LA Clippers in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020.
#2- Kristaps Porzingis will have to shoot the lights out from the three point range
The Dallas Mavericks took a risk by trading for the Latvian power forward Kristaps Porzingis last NBA off-season. However, the risk has ultimately paid off as Porzingis has formed a brilliant partnership with Luka Doncic. Rick Carlisle's offence has maximized the big man's strengths and minimized his weaknesses.
Kristaps Porzingis will be a key man going into the fixture against the LA Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020. He has attempted seven 3's a game and has made them at a league average 35 percent. However, that is due to the slow start to the season when he came back from injury. His shooting in the NBA bubble has been impressive and he has recorded more than four 30 point games since the restart. His shooting will play an important role in the series against the LA Clippers in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020.
#3- The Dallas Mavericks bench will have to be at their best
Going into the NBA playoffs 2020, all the teams will be relying on 2-3 bench players to make the difference when the starters are resting. The same is true for the Dallas Mavericks, as they will be facing the pick and roll duo of Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams once the bench players are sent on the court in the NBA playoffs 2020.
Maxi Kleber and Trey Burke will be the players head coach Rick Carlisle will be banking on against the LA Clippers in the NBA playoffs 2020. Maxi Kleber has been impressive as a makeshift centre this NBA season. His ability to protect the rim and stretch the court with his shooting has been a huge asset for the Dallas Mavericks. Trey Burke is another good option who will have to take care of the scoring for the Dallas Mavericks when the starters are not on the floor in the first round match-up of NBA playoffs 2020.
#4- Rick Carlisle will have to out coach his counterpart Doc Rivers
Rick Carlisle is one of only 11 people to win an NBA championship both as a player and as a coach. He won an NBA championship in 2011 when the underdogs Dallas Mavericks led by talismanic power forward Dirk Nowitzki defeated the LeBron James led Miami Heat.
He will be facing another championship winning coach in Doc Rivers of LA Clippers in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020. Carlisle will have to be at his best tactically against a very strong LA Clippers lineup. He is an offensive genius, so we can expect him to outsmart Doc Rivers and the LA Clippers defence in the first round of NBA playoffs 2020.
#5- The Dallas Mavericks will have to defend the perimeter with discipline
The LA Clippers squad is studded with players who can shoot well from behind the three point arc. Paul George, Lou Williams, Landry Shamet, Marcus Morris and even Kawhi Leonard are very capable three point shooters. The LA Clippers rely really heavily on their three point shooting as their scoring in the paint is not impressive. If the Dallas Mavericks are able to contain the barrage of three point shots from the LA Clippers players, they will stand a very good chance of winning this first round matchup in the NBA playoffs 2020.