If one believes in trends, it looks like the Phoenix Suns will win Sunday’s do-it-yourself-dead game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks in their Western Conference semifinal series.
After all, the home team has won every game of the playoff series.
But it is not necessary to come here for Phoenix. Not for the team that has the best record in the NBA season so far, and especially not after the Suns have held their first two games against the Dallas team. who has been banned from playing outside his star, Luka Doncic.
On Thursday night, the Sun has the opportunity to send Mavericks home for the summer, only to lay eggs. Dallas scored from the 3-point range, shooting 16 to 39 (41 percent), while Doncic pushed his way to the edge for easy dunks. Doncic also retreated and made a small effort in the Suns guide Chris Paul in the Dallas tournament was eager to use the entire series. Doncic ends the game with 33 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals.
“I do not have enough time to talk about anything that eats me, ”Suns Coach Monty Williams told reporters after the game. “I do not think we understand the shock they will play with.”
This has not been a seven-game series. It has not been a slugfest with stars from the two exchange clutch baskets. No match was particularly intense or downhill at the last minute. The only constant is chippiness and junk talk.
But there are pre-orders for the playoff series like this. 2008, No. 1- Gene Boston Celtics meet the No. Boston won the first two home games in the offensive line, but Atlanta is back and ready to work home. The Celtics won Game 7 by 34 points. A similar process as the next Boston’s series, against LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, but the game was more competitive. Boston to win NBA tournament
But first there was no slump, and the Suns could have made their second embarrassment out after last year running to the NBA Finals. Last year, the Bucks and Nets traded home wins for the game in the second round, so the Bucks won at the end of the road. A game out further by Paul, or a hot game from the Mavericks role, and the Suns can see the door.
If the Mavericks win, they will have eliminated a Suns team that won the franchise-record 64 games, including an 18-game win streak. That success is rare and difficult to replicate. For one thing, Paul, a 12-time All-Star, is 37 years old. He was also the key player to point the defense and lead the league in one-on-one service. But the list of players who have excelled at the age of 38 is small, with generational players like Karl Malone, John Stockton, Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Paul was a generational player, too, but this was not a particularly pronounced season for him, especially after Games 1 and 2. Since then, he has been dogged by foul problems, problems with Doncic defense, and only limited services. a game for the series after an average of 10.8 a game during the regular season.
No competition is the key in Paul’s illustrious resumé. He was 3-4 in Game 7s, excluding the 2018 Western Conference final against the Golden State Warriors, when he missed the final game due to injury as a member of the Houston Rockets.
The Sun will also be at the crossroads with Deandre Ayton, the 23-year-old, who is one of the league’s best performers and has been scheduled to enter the free zone. Phoenix did not give him the highest contract before the season, and an early departure could make him more likely to qualify now.
But the Suns have an edge into Sunday’s game in Phoenix. They have the best NBA home record at 32-9. They were tried, made last year and with the acquaintance Paul on the reins. They saw that they could beat Doncic, who was in his third game and had beaten the Sun, averaging 32.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists for the game. Doncic has faced three dismissals in his short playing career – including on Thursday – and he has come up big every time, despite losing. In the first game 7 against the Los Angeles Clippers last year, he scored 46 points in the loss. In 2020, he had 38 points in Game 6 lost to the Clippers.
The Suns won three games despite failing to defend Doncic.
But what they could not resist was their own change, which made the sun shine on the road. In Game 3, Paul and Devin Booker together for 12 of them, more like Mavericks. In Game 4, Booker has five. Paul had two, but only played 23 minutes due to foul problems. During Thursday’s Game 6, Booker had eight, Paul had five and Mavericks together for just six.
The Mavericks’s strategy to win over Phoenix was simple: Fight Doncic against Paul, or spread out on the floor and have Doncic or his aftermath, Jalen Brunson, drive and find the killer. He did most of the work. Employees like Maxi Kleber usually arrive by hitting 3s.
One fix the Suns can interfere with is stacking the colors with defenders to support the Doncic shoot 3s. He is a bottom-average 3-point shooter, only 29.6 percent of the series. And if it did go to color, the Suns would have to shut off the killers to disrupt their music. In Game 5, Phoenix defended the best of the series, Dallas shooting 8 to 32 by 3-point range, an unbelievable 25 percent.
Outside of Game 5, the Suns have done poorly on defense and only occasionally have they been able to overcome that with serious offense. It often looked like the Suns were rushing to their offense – strangely to the Paul-led machine.
“The best thing about all these playoff games is that you do not take a 20-point lead to the next game, “Paul said on Thursday.” You know what I mean? Every game has the attitude of his own and now he goes to a game”