In the match between the Suns and the Mavericks, Doncic performed very well, scoring 45 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. This is the first time in his career that he has entered the second round of the playoffs. Although the individual performance was outstanding, there was still no way to lead the team to victory over the Suns, which made Doncic an actual lone ranger on the court.
Looking at the whole game, if you look at the score, you might think it was a tight game and that the two teams were not much different in strength. But the actual situation is that the Mavericks were utterly overwhelmed by the Suns and never took the lead. While the Suns couldn't stop Doncic from scoring, Doncic couldn't kill the Suns alone. For the Lone Ranger, the Suns have a complete defensive system, making Doncic completely unable to lead his teammates on the court and only fight alone.
The Suns' strategy on the defensive end
The Suns' defense against the Lone Ranger is evident. They don't give Doncic a chance to connect with teammates. As long as Doncic is attacking with the ball, the Suns' defenders will block all his passing routes, which makes Doncic. You can only rely on yourself to score and forcibly pass the ball to your teammates, and there is a high probability that it will be stolen by the Sun's players and then quickly counterattack. This approach works very well against teams with a core on the ball. Although this method is not difficult to cooperate with, the expected effect will be lost if some key details are missed.
Stop Doncic from creating opportunities for his teammates. The Mavericks like to use pick-and-roll tactics very much. When Doncic is attacking with the ball, almost all their teammates will step up to play pick-and-rolls for him, making it difficult for opponents to find out who the natural finisher is. But the Suns don't care so much. As long as they focus on Doncic and block all his passing routes, they can implement the tactics arranged by the coach very well. The details of the Suns' defense against the Lone Ranger are here.
In addition, the Sun also has a significant advantage in height and size. Ayton and McGee are both standard center heights, which makes the Suns have an absolute peak in the interior and have a definite advantage in rebounding, internal support, and other tactics. In addition, the Sun's perimeter defenders are not only fast but also very powerful, and the size advantage has become the Sun's biggest killer on the offensive end. In this high field, the Lone Ranger is entirely at a disadvantage.
The Suns are not without weaknesses. The Bucks gave the Suns a hard lesson in last year's playoffs. The Suns faced high-intensity physical confrontation, and it was very uncomfortable to play. At that time, the Bucks' striker was powerful and flexible, and the continuous physical fight made the Suns gradually fall to a disadvantage. But if the body is not as tall and strong as the Sun, then the Sun will play very quickly.
In the face of such a targeted defense by the Suns, can the coach of the Lone Ranger think of a way to crack it in time? If the role players still can't play their value in the next game, the result will be the same.
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