Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks NBA Playoffs Game 4 evaluation

Three ideas on the Utah Jazz’s 100-99 Game 4 win over the Dallas Mavericks from Salt Lake Tribune Jazz beat author Andy Larsen.

1. Everything the Jazz did effectively late

The Jazz have been taking part in poorly in fourth quarters all season lengthy, together with in these playoffs. Tonight, they carried out fairly effectively, and it’s price itemizing what went proper, in hopes that the Jazz can duplicate it shifting ahead.

• They defended their behinds off. The Mavs have been attempting to switch-hunt, once more, however this time, it was Luka Doncic looking for Rudy Gobert on the change. I’m unsure if that’s tremendous smart. Doncic completed with 9 factors, 3-7 FG, and one turnover within the fourth quarter, and I believe you’ll take that.

But the Jazz didn’t instantly give the change, both. Bojan Bogdanovic fought via these screens so the Mavericks steadily needed to re-screen to get these switches, decreasing the period of time Doncic and the Mavericks needed to work on these possessions.

• Brunson was held to 0-3 taking pictures within the fourth; once more, an enormous change. While the Jazz received a bit of fortunate that Brunson smoked a layup, there was improved protection on Brunson late, particularly when Danuel House checked into the sport.

• The Jazz received additional possessions via rebounding. Gobert had three offensive rebounds within the fourth, and Mitchell received his personal rebound on a game-saving and-one possession.

Gobert received fouled on all of his offensive boards, and whereas he didn’t get many of the free throws to go down this time, he nonetheless was including additional factors that the Jazz wouldn’t have had in any other case. Meanwhile, Dallas had only one offensive rebound on their very own finish of the ground.

• They handed the ball late. Ah, and what a center finger to the narratives it was. The Jazz, down one level, selected to play with no timeout with 19 seconds left. Mitchell took benefit of the eye he drew off the display screen, and threw a wonderful lob to Gobert.

• Finally, they performed the ultimate defensive possession to perfection. It’s not precisely clear why the Mavericks selected to inbound the ball all the way in which out 94 ft away from the basket 11 ft away, however they used time on the clock to do this. Then, the Jazz well selected to double Doncic, getting the ball out of his palms. That left Gobert to cowl two gamers on the weak facet, however he rotated over to affect Spencer Dinwiddie’s shot completely.

Of course, we’ve got to notice that if Dwight Powell makes two essential free throws with beneath 20 seconds left, the Mavericks in all probability win this recreation. But the Jazz put themselves in place to benefit from that with the perfect protection they’ve had all collection, whereas sharing a punctuating offensive second collectively as a workforce.

2. Bojan Bogdanovic’s game-defining protection

A 33-year-old Bojan Bogdanovic guarding Jalen Brunson isn’t what I anticipated originally of this collection. Theoretically, Brunson must be too fast for Bogdanovic — in spite of everything, he’s been too fast for the likes of Royce O’Neale, Jordan Clarkson, and Donovan Mitchell on this collection.

But Bogdanovic simply fought, all recreation lengthy, at all times guarding the perfect Maverick on the ground. If Doncic was within the recreation, Bogdanovic took on the task; if Brunson was the Mavs’ ballhandler, Bogdanovic was his man. Each participant, Bogdanovic guarded for 94 ft. It was a bruising task, as Bogdanovic needed to navigate display screen after display screen with the intention to preserve related to the 2 stars.

Somehow, he did it.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dallas Mavericks heart Dwight Powell (7) is blocked by Utah Jazz heart Rudy Gobert (27) throughout Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff collection, Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Salt Lake City.

Look, possibly I’m a sap, however Bogdanovic’s effort was legitimately inspiring to me. With their backs towards the wall, with everybody else falling brief defensively within the collection to date, Bogdanovic was the one man who rose his hand and took on a problem. And in line with Gobert, that effort impressed everybody else.

“He set the tone,” Gobert mentioned. “He set the tone for us. Everyone looks at Bogey and says, ‘If Bogey is doing it, why can’t I?’ It’s contagious.”

Gobert’s proper: there was a visibly elevated effort from perimeter defenders tonight, with Mitchell taking the largest leap. The Jazz did a significantly better job at stopping the type of paint penetration that slaughtered them in Game 2 and three, this time, the Mavericks took solely six photographs on the rim all night time lengthy.

I believe there’s an actual case that Bogdanovic has been the Jazz’s greatest participant this collection. He’s averaging 22 factors a recreation in comparison with Mitchell’s 30, however Mitchell’s wanted 11 extra photographs to get his eight extra factors. Add within the defensive affect he’s made, and I believe Bogdanovic deserves these plaudits.

Afterward, Bogdanovic confirmed that it was Quin Snyder’s thought to have Bogdanovic guard the 2 gamers, and guard them for 94 ft. Credit to the coach for imagining such a wacky adjustment, and credit score to Bogdanovic for making it work.

3. Jordan Clarkson’s environment friendly scoring

Jordan Clarkson’s averaging 17.5 factors per recreation on this collection. That’s one thing he’s achieved earlier than in his final couple of playoff runs with the Jazz, however he shot 46% in his first season and 40% in his second season.

In these first 4 video games, Clarkson’s made 60% of his photographs, the type of environment friendly scoring that makes the Jazz lots harder to protect. Tonight, he had a team-high 25 factors and a +18 plus-minus, ending the sport over Mike Conley.

What’s happening? Well, as you already know, the Mavericks are doing an incredible job at stopping the Jazz from taking pictures threes, but in addition doing a fairly darn good job at stopping straightforward Gobert and Whiteside dunks down low. That leaves the midrange underbelly a bit of open, and Clarkson’s actually efficient at making these 8-14 foot floaters and pull-ups — that’s the bread and butter of his NBA profession.

In this recreation, he was additionally adept at attacking Luka Doncic. The Jazz actually needed to hunt Doncic at any time when doable defensively, figuring that his up-and-down efforts defensively might be exploited, particularly as he fights the calf pressure. Clarkson was most profitable at doing that, scoring on him 4 occasions within the first half.

Clarkson, it have to be famous, has been hunted defensively when he’s within the recreation. He put up a really poor defensive efficiency in Games 2 and three, however was extra strong in Game 4 — one author, Matt Moore, felt it was the perfect defensive recreation of Clarkson’s profession. I’m unsure if I’d go that far, however Clarkson’s efficiency general actually helped the Jazz even the collection at 2-2.

Editor’s observe • This story is accessible to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers solely. Thank you for supporting native journalism.

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