Starting the series off down 2-0, the Mavs had their backs against the wall heading home. The good news is that a series doesn’t start until the road team wins, which has yet to happen. Like Tim Cato said, “can’t wait for someone to win on the road so we can finally start watching”.
In all seriousness, the Mavericks have forced a Game 7 with the defending Western Conference Champions. This Suns team finished with a league best 64 wins this season.
In Game 6, we saw Dorian Finney-Smith get into foul trouble. Before the game, Bobby Karalla mentioned that in order for the Mavs to win, they would need great games from each respective player. Karalla stated, “Frank may come in for just 4 minutes, but it has to be the best 4 minutes he has played all season”. With Dorian forced to the bench, we saw a heavy 21 minutes sent toward Frank Ntilikina (a little bit more than 4 min).
Ntilikina finished the game with 0 points, but his impact was felt immensely. He played exceptional defense, clogging up passing lanes with his lengthy 7’1 wingspan and finishing with 4 steals.
Dallas had to get this blowout win after losing big in Game 5. They took a 17-point lead into the half and hung onto that lead throughout the second half. I found myself just waiting for Phoenix to go on their run, but the Mavericks’ defensive efforts proved to be at the standard they had been all year.
As we look ahead to Game 7, neutralizing Chris Paul seems like an obvious objective. Paul has been spectacular in each of their home games this series, and of course is one of the greatest floor generals this game has ever seen. I’m interested to see how Coach Kidd decides to divvy up minutes, particularly how much run Ntilikina will get.
With that being said…
Mavs in 7.