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3 Things We Learned From Suns-Mavericks Game 6 On Tuesday

3 Things We Learned From Suns-Mavericks Game 6 On Tuesday
3 Things We Learned From Suns-Mavericks Game 6 On Tuesday

3 Things We Learned From Suns-Mavericks Game 6 On Tuesday

We will have a winner-take-all, battle to the death, no survivors Game 7 for the first time in NBA postseason!


Perhaps that is a touch harsh, but you get the picture!

On Thursday night, the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Phoenix Suns 113-86 at home, forcing a critical Game 7 in this Western Conference Semifinals series and throwing the defending Western Conference champions against the wall.

 

Luka Doncic and the Mavericks have shown no mercy in this series, and they now have the upper hand heading into Sunday's game.


In this series, home court advantage has been crucial, as both the Suns and the Mavericks are 3-0 on their respective home courts. Phoenix will be confident going into their final home game, but they should be cautious after what Dallas did in Game 6.

 

Because of how poised and experienced this Suns' squad is, the Mavericks were able to get inside the heads of the Suns once again, something almost no other team has been able to do this season. Frustration has set in for Phoenix, and it was evident in Dallas on Thursday night.


The Suns turned the ball over 22 times, allowing the Mavericks to score 29 points, and they struggled to shoot the ball again, going 31-78 (39.7%) from the field and 6-18 (33.3%) from beyond the arc.


Let us take a look back at what transpired in Game 6 and three crucial lessons heading into Game 7 on Sunday.

There’s Something About That Dallas Water Phoenix Does Not Like

I am not sure what it is about Dallas, but the Phoenix Suns are unable to win in the postseason there.

 

The good news is that Game 7 will be played at home, but what is it about Dallas?

 

Phoenix has gone 0-3 on the road against the Mavericks in this series, losing all three games by a total of 46 points.

 

In this series, the Suns have shot 43.7 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three-point range on the road, compared to 54.3 percent from the field and 42.4 percent from three-point range at home.

 

You have to give the Mavericks credit for how well they have defended home court in this series and how well their role players have performed, but a lot of the Suns' misery stems from the fact that they have let the Mavericks' fans and terrible road calls get to them.

 

The Suns, who are usually the most composed team in the league, have exhibited indications of mental fraying in this series, and they have suffered on the road as a result.

The Suns Need To Calm Down On The Floor And Get Back To The Basics

One of the main reasons the Suns lost Game 6 in Dallas was because they allowed their emotions get the best of them. Dallas not only took advantage of the Suns defensively, but it also caused Phoenix to commit sloppy turnovers possession after possession.


On Thursday night, the Suns turned the ball over a total of 22 times, resulting in the Mavericks scoring 29 points. In the great scheme of things, if the Mavs had only 5-6 of these mistakes, they might have scored 10-12 points less than they did, and the game would not have been as lopsided as it was.

 

Now, this is a bold statement, as everything that happens throughout the game influences the outcome, so no turnover or basket "won the game" essentially, but Phoenix did everything wrong offensively, which directly influenced why they lost.

You can point the finger at Devin Booker for his 8 turnovers in Game 6, but Chris Paul is the most important component for the Suns to improve.

 

Paul has turned the ball over at least four times in three of the last four games, averaging 4.5 turnovers per game over that time period.

 

Paul averaged just 2.4 turnovers per game throughout the regular season, and there was no stretch of games where the experienced point guard turned the ball over this many times.


Paul only had four or more turnovers in a game nine times this season.

 

Last season, Phoenix made it to the NBA Finals by taking care of the basketball and having Chris Paul lead the offense. Dallas has done a nice job of making him uncomfortable in this series, but Paul is a future Hall of Famer, and the Suns will need him to be this kind of player in Game 7.


For Dallas, Spencer Dinwiddie and defense are the two keys to success.


Luka Doncic is a fantastic, generational talent, and Jalen Brunson is a great complementary guard for the Mavericks, but their defense and Spencer Dinwiddie's brilliance are the two main reasons they have stretched this series to seven games.


Starting with their defense, Dallas has limited the league's fifth-best scoring attack to under 100 points twice in this series, and only 101 points the other time.


Stopping Devin Booker from driving downhill to the basket has been a priority for this club throughout the series, and Dallas has done an excellent job of collapsing into the lane when Phoenix attempts to attack, knowing that the Suns would not settle for three-pointers.


The Suns were 26th in the league in three-point attempts during the regular season and 4th in points in the paint as a team, despite their ability to make threes.

 

So, heading into this series, Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd and his team planned a strategy to keep Phoenix from hitting the paint, which they have done so successfully in the past.

 

They struggled in Games 1 and 2 of this series, but the Mavs have dominated in terms of team defense and defensive efficiency since then.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie, on the other hand, is the key to Dallas' offensive potential being realized.


Dinwiddie, who is averaging 11.8 points and 3.7 assists in the playoffs, is a skilled player who has shown to be a factor from long range in this series, shooting 45 percent from outside the arc against the Suns.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie helped extend the Mavericks' lead in Game 6 by scoring 15 points off the bench on 5-7 shooting from long on Thursday, and he is their X-factor simply because he is not the center of attention on offense.


Phoenix pays a lot of attention to Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic, which allows Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie to play one-on-one at times.

 

Dinwiddie, who was a key scorer earlier in his career, has shown to be a scoring danger with the ball in his hands, and the Mavericks will rely on him to be a force off the bench once again in Game 7 in hopes of reaching the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011.


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