By: Kimya Oliver
The Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks in game one of the first round series by the final score of 99-93.
The Crossover: Utah Jazz by the Numbers
Mike Conley drove to the basket for the floater to begin the first quarter. The Mavericks took a seven point lead. The Jazz did not back down and managed to cut the Mavericks’ lead to 23-20 after the first quarter.
The Jazz came out cold and scored their first bucket after three minutes into the second quarter. The Mavericks were not letting up attacking the basket and the Jazz could not find their opponent’s kryptonite. Conley stole the ball and threw it to Bojan Bogdanovic, who was fouled and hit both free throws. With 2.2 seconds on the clock, Bogdanovic hit from downtown to close the first half for the Jazz with a 45-43 lead.
After only scoring two points in the first half, Donovan Mitchell made a pullup jumper from 15 feet. Mitchell could not be stopped scoring nine straight points for the Jazz. The Jazz’s offense began to lock in as they closed the third quarter leading 73-65.
Bogdanovic made a fadeaway jumper to start the final quarter of play. This game came down to the wire with the Jazz leading by one point with two minutes to go. Royce O’Neale hit from beyond the arc to freeze the offensive flow for the Mavericks and it worked. The Mavericks only made two points in the final minute of the ball game.
The Daily Double-Double
While nobody notched a double double, Gobert had an impressive stat line with 17 boards to go along with five points on one shot attempt. Mitchell and Bogdanovic did most of the heavy lifting on the offensive end with 32 and 26 points respectively.
The Jazz came out in the first quarter shooting horribly from beyond the arc, unable to make a shot while the Mavericks shot well. Overall, the Jazz played well. When the ball was in Conley’s hands, the offense seemed to flow easier than when Mitchell had the ball. Mitchell can still be effective, but his game has more of a tunnel vision. He is driving to the basket and trying to get easy buckets.
Conley showed his talents by driving to the basket and making floaters. I think Conley can be one of the most unstoppable guards in the NBA with this shot. Not only because is he fast, but he’s also left handed. Some people may not see it as an advantage, but when he is driving to the basket he can be unstoppable.
Rudy Gobert only shot one time from the field and missed. Yes, the Jazz got the win, but how is a player over seven feet tall only shooting the ball once out of 35 minutes in the game? I think he will need to get more touches which should lead to easy baskets. He grabbed 17 rebounds, but did not score. Yes, former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman was a big man who was primarily used to grab rebounds, but he had Micheal Jordan and Scottie Pippen there to score all the buckets. Luckily, Mitchell got hot in the third quarter. If he hadn’t done so, the Mavericks would have taken this win.
The Jazz will need to continue to stay consistent offensively and lock down defensively in Game 2. From looking at Game 1, the Mavericks moved the ball quickly when the Jazz would double team someone and leave them an open look. Gobert will definitely get involved offensively to score easy buckets. This last match was a game of hot potato. The Mavericks would go on a big run and since they were home the fans gave them momentum. That can not happen often. The Jazz will need to score a bucket just to break a scoring run. It’s still unknown if Luka Doncic will play in Game 2. If he is, the Jazz will need to step up when guarding him because when he gets hot it will be tough to cool him down.
Bounce Pass: Up Next
Game two will be on April 18 at 6:30 p.m. MST.
Featured image courtesy Tony Gutierrez, Associated Press