On Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks faced a sweep at the hands of the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
Instead of bowing and feeling good about upsetting the Phoenix Suns in the previous round, the Mavericks made a big lead in the second quarter and came out swinging with a 62-47 lead at halftime.
The Golden State’s second stringers made a rally in the fourth quarter, cutting Maves’ lead to eight, but they held on for 119-109 to win.
Dallas will probably still lose the series, but it did find a clue as to how to win with the group currently around superstar Luka Donsick.
More guys have moved on to Dallas
Donsick, as usual, showed the way, and although he made only 10-of-26 shots off the field, he had 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots.
Maximum 30-point playoff game before age 24:
21 – LeBron James
17 – Kevin Durant
17 – Kobe Bryant
17 – Luka Donsik pic.twitter.com/6sncy8OMyc
– StatMuse (atstatmuse) May 25, 2022
When Dallas lost in these playoffs, he was, with few exceptions, a one-man team.
But on Tuesday he got pretty good help.
Guard Jalen Brunson, who has fared well this spring, had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists.
But he was the fourth-highest scorer for Dallas.
Its second-leading scorer was Dorian Finney-Smith, who dropped 23 points from 9-of-13 overall and 4-of-7 from a 3-point range.
In the regular season, he wasn’t exactly a big-time scorer, as he averaged just 11.0 points per game, and when it came to Tuesday’s competition, he averaged just 10.9 points per game in the playoffs.
Reggie Bullock, who couldn’t buy a basket in Game 3, made 6 out of 10 shots in Game 4, all of which were 3-pointers.
The Mavs had 30 assists in their 41 field goals and only 18 assists in Game 3.
A strategic adjustment helped
In the regular season, the Mavericks were rated last on speed, and they were just 28th in the fast-break point.
It is true that they do not have the staff to be a running team, but in Game 4 they played at a slightly faster pace.
On Tuesday Dallas finished with 10 fast-break points, which is still a very low number, but its rapid pace at least allows it to move quickly to its offensive set.
When Mavra plays at their traditional very slow pace, they often see Donsik walk one by one to the floor with his defender, the shot clock ticking down.
But when they play with speed, it empowers guys like Brunson, Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinuidi to get a better look.
A faster speed allows the Mavs to get a better look at the paint and relies less on taking huge amounts of 3-point shots.
On Tuesday, they shot 50.0 percent from the floor and 46.5 percent from downtown, compared to 40.0 and 28.9 percent in Game 3, respectively.
A Game 5 win could change the color of this series
If the Mavs somehow manages to take Game 5 to San Francisco, there may be some concern for the Warriors.
Game 6 will then return to Dallas, and with the speed at their side, the Mavs could very well win that race, which would make Game 7 somewhat crapshoot.
Extremely daring tactics by the Mavs, who are undefeated in elimination games this post season, to position themselves only for elimination games in the rest of this series.
– Playoff Dalton (dalton_trig) May 25, 2022
Even if or they lose this series, the Mavs can use it as a learning experience to move forward.