With the Play-In Tournament deciding the 7-seeds and 8-seeds in both conferences coming to an end on Friday, it is time for the actual NBA Playoffs to begin!
The first game of the first-round of the playoffs will take place on Saturday afternoon, as the Utah Jazz go on the road to take on the Dallas Mavericks, who will likely be without their superstar in Luka Doncic.
In their final regular season game against the San Antonio Spurs, Mavericks All-Star Luka Doncic appeared to suffer some kind of non-contact injury to his left knee/leg after pushing off to set a screen.
It was later said that his MRI results revealed a calf strain and the team has not commented on the severity of his injury, simply stating that he will be “day-to-day” moving forward.
Without Luka Doncic, the Mavericks are just a shell of a playoff contending team and it is almost impossible for them to replace his production, especially since he leads them in almost every single statistical category recorded in the game of basketball!
As for the visitors, the Jazz come into Dallas for Game 1 with their core group in perfect health. Bojan Bogdanovic is no longer dealing with a calf injury that kept him out near the end of the regular season and Donovan Mitchell is back to being the elite-level scorer we are accustomed to seeing him be.
Going from the 1-seed last season to the 5-seed this year is definitely disappointing for the Jazz, but they know that they are better than their record shows and Utah is not going to play with any less energy should Luka Doncic be unable to go for the Mavericks.
Will the Utah Jazz send an early message to the Dallas Mavericks in this series with a win on Saturday afternoon?
Here's how to watch Saturday’s game, with gametimes and TV, lineups, bios and other must-know details.
How to watch Jazz vs. Mavericks
- WHO: Utah Jazz (49-33) vs. Dallas Mavericks (52-30)
- WHAT: First Round Western Conference Playoffs — Game 1
- WHEN: 1 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 16
- WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: Fubo.tv CLICK HERE
Key Stats & Facts For Jazz vs. Mavericks
- The Jazz and Mavericks faced off four times during the regular season with the two teams each winning two games at home.
- The Mavericks finished the regular season ranking second in points allowed per game (104.7), while the Jazz finished the regular season ranking seventh in points per game (113.6).
- Dallas is 29-12 at home this season, compared to Utah being 20-21 on the road.
- Without Luka Doncic this season, the Mavericks have posted an 8-9 record overall, with just two wins coming against a team that finished the regular season as the 10-seed or better in their respective conference.
March 27, 2022 - Mavericks 114, Jazz 100
In their final meeting of the regular season, Dallas outlasted Utah 114-100 behind Luka Doncic going for 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Jalen Brunson finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, as Reggie Bullock added 23 points on 7-11 shooting from beyond-the-arc for Dallas. The Mavericks outrebounded the Jazz, who were without Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside and Bojan Bogdanovic, 45-36 in the win.
Jazz-Mavericks Most Recent Games:
- Jazz last game: In their regular season finale, the Jazz defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 111-80 in a game that was never really close outside of the opening quarter. The Jazz pulled in 60 total rebounds in this game and were led offensively by Juancho Hernangomez, who finished the game with 22 points.
- Mavericks last game: The Mavericks beat the San Antonio Spurs 130-120 in their final regular season game of the year, but it came at a price. With 2:24 left to go in the third quarter with the Mavericks up by 18 points, Luka Doncic appeared to suffer some kind of lower left leg injury that was later revealed to be a left calf strain. Dallas came away with the victory, but losing Doncic for any period of time could wind up dooming them in the long-run.
Latest Injury News:
Jazz: Udoka Azubuike (ankle/foot) - OUT, Trent Forrest (foot) - OUT
Mavericks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot) - OUT, Frank Ntilikina (illness) - OUT, Luka Doncic (calf) - DOUBTFUL
PROJECTED JAZZ STARTERS:
- G Mike Conley, 6-1 guard: 13.7 points, 5.3 assists
- G Donovan Mitchell, 6-1 guard: 25.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists
- F Bojan Bogdanovic, 6-7 forward: 18.1 points, 4.3 rebounds
- F Royce O’Neale, 6-4 forward: 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds
- C Rudy Gobert, 7-1 center: 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds
PROJECTED MAVERICKS STARTERS:
- G Spencer Dinwiddie, 6-5 guard: 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists
- G Jalen Brunson, 6-6 guard: 17.0 points, 4.3 assists
- F Reggie Bullock, 6-6 forward: 8.6 points, 3.5 rebounds
- F Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-7 forward: 11.0 points, 4.7 rebounds
- C Dwight Powell, 6-10 center: 8.7 points, 4.9 rebounds
- The Jazz are currently 5-point favorites over the Mavericks as of Saturday morning, according to the Fanduel.com gambling website.
- The over/under for this matchup is currently set at 209.5 total points.
What to watch for:
- The Dallas Mavericks have not won a playoff series since they went on to win their only title in franchise history in 2011.
- Reigning Sixth-Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson has continued to be one of the best bench scorers in the NBA, as the Jazz guard led the league in bench points with 1,244 total points scored off-the-bench.
- Utah is 33-11 this season when they make at least 15 three-pointers.
- The Jazz are 3-6 all-time against the Mavericks in the playoffs. Dallas is 2-0 in playoff series against Utah.
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