Mavericks-Jazz Brewing Into Potential Epic Playoff Matchup?

Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

The Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz faced off for the third time during the 2021-22 NBA season on Monday night with the Mavericks winning 111-103. It was the first time this season that they were able to defeat the Jazz, as Utah won the first two meetings by four and five points.

These teams are relatively evenly matched and have played competitive games all season. Monday’s matchup was as chippy as the others and had a playoff feel to them according to Donovan Mitchell.

At the middle of that chippiness were All-Stars Luka Doncic and Rudy Gobert. The two were involved in numerous clashes with each other throughout the game. Gobert tossed the ball at Doncic at the end of the first half after he complained, again, about a non-call driving the line.

Incensed, Doncic tried throwing the ball back at Gobert and the players were separated. Doncic was assessed a technical for his actions. This wouldn’t be the last time the two got into it during the night.

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In the third quarter, Doncic got in front of Gobert while he was running up the court, embellishing a flop. The play was reviewed for a hostile act, but even after seeing the replay himself, Doncic admitted there was nothing there.

“I thought it was the worst, and then I saw it and it was nothing,” Doncic said. “We were all laughing on the bench.”

While Doncic and his teammates were getting a kick out of what was going on, the same cannot be said for Gobert, who was the target of some taunting throughout the game in which he felt went over the line.

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Gobert said that Doncic whispered something in his ear hoping to goad him into reacting before the collision occurred. Gobert was aware of what he was trying to do and kept his cool, but he did not appreciate some of the words coming from the Dallas Mavericks’ bench.

“There’s a lot of things being said that wouldn’t be said outside a basketball court. A lot of things I don’t say,” Gobert explained. “I’m not perfect, but I don’t say things to guys that I wouldn’t tell them to their face outside the locker room. It’s a lot of talk.”

The All-Star center also expressed some irritation at how the referees handled the situation. Potential escalating acts should be handled by the referees, and in Gobert’s opinion, they were not. 

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Contemplating if getting suspended is worth retaliating is not something a player needs to be concerned about during a game. Alas, that is something Gobert admitted to thinking about while the Mavericks bench jeered from the sidelines.

The two teams are currently in the fourth and fifth seeds in the Western Conference, which means we’d get to see them in a first-round playoff series. While that isn’t set in stone, we will be getting at least one more matchup this season as the Utah Jazz will be back in Dallas to take on the Dallas Mavericks on March 27th.

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