Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks 5/8/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks Matchup Preview (5/8/22)

The Phoenix Suns (2-1) look to bounce back against the Dallas Mavericks (1-2) in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon. They lost 103-94 in Game 3 because they committed 17 turnovers while shooting 44.7% from the field. Their three-point shooting (46.4 3PT%) was excellent, but they struggled in every other facet. Chris Paul finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 7 turnovers, which is an uncharacteristically sloppy game for him. Devin Booker had 18 points, 6 assists, and 5 turnovers on 6/13 shooting. Deandre Ayton produced a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jae Crowder, who has been ice-cold this postseason, turned in an all-around performance of 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists on 5/8 from three. Although Phoenix lost Game 3, they are still in control of this series. They own a 2-1 series lead and still maintain home-court advantage. For Game 4, role player Torrey Craig is doubtful. If he cannot play, Phoenix will lose some wing depth. 

Dallas executed when their back was up against the wall in Game 3. If they went down 3-0, the series was pretty much over. However, there is new life in Dallas, and they have the momentum entering Sunday. Luka Doncic flirted with a triple-double; he had 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 9 assists on 11/25 from the field. Jalen Brunson broke out of his mini slump by producing 28 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists on 10/21 shooting. Reggie Bullock scored 15 points on 4/10 from three, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 14 points on 4/11 from three. Bullock and Finney-Smith both contributed 3 steals as well. Off the bench, Maxi Kleber chipped in 14 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Dallas’ defense showed up in Game 3 after a lackluster start to the series. If they revert to their previous defense, they will not orchestrate a comeback this series.

Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks Betting Odds

The spread for Game 4 is +1.5 Mavericks after it was +1 for Game 3. I like the Suns to cover the spread and take a commanding series lead. It would be shocking if Paul and Booker combine for 12 turnovers again, and I expect some regression from Jalen Brunson. Phoenix has only lost two games in a row four times this season because they have a tendency to bounce back. The over under is set at 215 total points, and I like the over to hit. The Suns are going to play well offensively, and the Mavericks are going to hit threes. The over for this line is 2-1 this series, and the two times it was over were not even close to the line. 

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TV Schedule

Date: 5/8/22
Time: 3:30 PM ET
Arena: American Airlines Center – Dallas, TX
Channel: ESPN

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Phoenix Suns Starting Lineup

PG: Chris Paul
SG: Devin Booker
SF: Mikal Bridges
PF: Jae Crowder
C: Deandre Ayton

Phoenix Suns Analysis

Phoenix cannot have 17 turnovers again if they want to defeat the Mavericks. The Suns had a better shooting split, but Dallas attempted 14 more FGA because of the excessive turnovers. The Suns will on average produce more points per possession than the Mavericks, so they will have the advantage if they take the same amount of FGA. Not only were they sloppy with the basketball, but they didn’t get Ayton involved enough. He only attempted 12 shots, and he needs to have around 16-18 attempts. Dallas has poor rim protection and struggles with interior defense. Ayton can shred them through rolling to the basket; this will place tremendous pressure on the Dallas perimeter defenders to shade inside. Ayton shouldn’t lead the team in FGA, but he should be a high volume player. 

Jae Crowder has been excellent this series after a poor First Round. He’s averaging 15 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 3.7 APG on an other-worldly 60/61/80 shooting split. If he is hitting shots and stretching the floor, then the Suns Big 3 will have plenty of space to operate. He has even been a secondary playmaker by swinging the ball for high quality shots. His defense on Bullock and Finney-Smith will be vital as well.

Dallas Mavericks Starting Lineup

PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Jalen Brunson
SF: Reggie Bullock
PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
C: Dwight Powell

Dallas Mavericks Analysis

Luka Doncic is creating excellent shots for his teammates from his drives. He is currently leading the playoffs at 25.3 drives per game, and it provides catch and shoot opportunities for teammates. Reggie Bullock is 3rd in catch and shoot 3PA at 7.1 per game; he is shooting a 42.2 3PT% on those attempts. Finney-Smith (35.1 3PT%) is 6th at 6.3 3PA, and Kleber (53.5 3Pt%) is 13th at 4.8 3PA. Dallas needs a shot profile with some variance to beat this Phoenix juggernaut, and taking three-pointers certainly fits that description. 

The two-way play of Bullock and Finney-Smith was essential in Game 3. They knocked down threes and forced plenty of turnovers. If they can continue to disrupt the Phoenix perimeter offense, it will place a strain on Paul and Booker to hit tough contested shots. Defense is the key for Dallas, and those two are their pillars. Luka, Brunson, and Kleber are negative assets defensively, so they must compensate for that. 

I am currently a junior at University of Pennsylvania majoring in Psychology. I have spent the last few years working with various UPenn athletics teams and contributing to the UPenn Sports Analytics Group. My primary interests reside in NBA, NFL, and College Football.

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