‘Get another one and get to Utah with a big lead’: What Jazz need to do to win Game 2
Will Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic play Monday after missing 99-93 Game 1 loss to Utah with a calf strain?
Amid talk of adjustments and improvements they can make in Game 2 on Monday night after stealing Game 1 from the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, the Utah Jazz’s Bojan Bogdanovic phrased the goal as succinctly as possible.
“Get another one and get to Utah with a big lead,” the Croatian said.
Tipoff at America Airlines Center in Dallas is at 6:30 p.m. MDT. and the NBA playoffs first-round game will be televised by NBATV.
Bottom line, added guard Mike Conley, is that the Jazz are not completely satisfied with how they played Saturday in grinding out a 99-93 win and know they have to play better Monday because the Mavericks will surely bring more intensity and fire with their proverbial backs against the wall.
“We all love (the) playoffs. I love to play in the atmosphere like yesterday. I used to play in a bunch of these kind of games in Europe as well, in a heated atmosphere. It is that time of the year. We play all year to get those seedings and get home court advantage just for this moment.” — Utah Jazz star Bojan Bogdanovich.
Game 3 is Thursday at Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, while Game 4 is Saturday, also in Utah.
Bogdanovich, who scored 26 points in Game 1, said the atmosphere in Dallas was electric and he expects more of the same Monday night.
“We all love (the) playoffs. I love to play in the atmosphere like yesterday. I used to play in a bunch of these kind of games in Europe as well, in a heated atmosphere,” Bogdanovich said. “ It is that time of the year. We play all year to get those seedings and get home-court advantage just for this moment. So we are all playing all year basically for the playoffs.”
ESPN and several other outlets reported all weekend that Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic is still recovering from a left calf strain sustained in the last regular-season game and most likely will not play in Game 2.
Bogdanovich said Dallas plays faster with Doncic out of the lineup. The Mavericks are 8-10 in games in which the Slovenian doesn’t play. That means Utah has to do a better job getting back on transition, Bogdanovich and Conley said.
“When they got out into transition, we didn’t locate our man, and they got some easy buckets, easy 3s, easy layups,” Conley said. “That really kind of ignites them. They play a lot differently without Luka.”
On the offensive end, the Jazz would like to get center Rudy Gobert more involved in the offense after the defensive stalwart attempted just one shot in Game 1. But they don’t want to force things.
“What we did well (in Game 1) was we didn’t hoist ’em just to hoist ’em,” Conley said, referring to 3-pointers, which are usually a Jazz staple and come often when Gobert and a guard are running the pick-and-roll. “They crowd the 3-point line and almost force you into a drive. … We took what was given to us. You kind of have to take what you are given at points in a series and hope that they adjust later.”
Another point of emphasis for the Jazz will be finishing at the rim. Conley said in the first half especially the Jazz failed to finish, missed a lot of close-in shots.
“We did a good job of breaking into the paint,” he said. “We need to continue to do that and to make plays. … We could have finished six or seven (close shots) in the early portion of the game. We had a lot of good looks in the paint.”