Brunson At Risk Of Free Agency Stock Tumbling vs. Suns? - bdsthanhhoavn.com

Brunson At Risk Of Free Agency Stock Tumbling vs. Suns?

Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Dallas Mavericks have their hands full in their second-round NBA playoff matchup against the No. 1 seeded Phoenix Suns. The Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead, defeating the Mavericks 121-114 but the game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score would indicate.

Phoenix led wire-to-wire, going ahead by as many as 21 points. They were in control throughout the game, as Dallas had no answers defensively and were heavily reliant on 3-point shooting to keep them in the game.

Luka Doncic did everything he could for the Mavericks, scoring 45 points to go along with 12 rebounds and eight assists. While surrendering big games like that isn’t likely in the Suns’ game plan, they are more than willing to have Doncic explode if they can keep his teammates in check.

One of the reasons the Dallas Mavericks struggled early on in Game 1 was Jalen Brunson was a non-factor in the first half. Brunson picked up three fouls, which limited his playing time as Phoenix built up their lead. He ended the game with 13 points, four rebounds, and three assists, well below what he was producing in the series against the Utah Jazz.

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Brunson’s postseason performance is something that many people will be keeping an eye on. He has pretty much guaranteed himself a huge payday in free agency this summer with how he performed in the regular season, but how he plays in the playoffs could also impact how much money he earns.

Last season, Brunson struggled mightily in the playoff series against the LA Clippers. Standing only 6’1”, long defenders will give him some issues. Not the most athletically gifted or quickest player on the court, their physicality, and length limited the impact that he was able to have on the court.

Jalen Brunson started hot against the Clippers, shooting 13-of-22 in the first three games, which is a very good 59.1 percent. But, he struggled in the final four games of the series, shooting 7-of-24 (31.8 percent) and failing to make more than 37.5 percent in a single game.

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In seven postseason games this season, Brunson has shot under 40 percent three times; Game 1 and 4 against the Utah Jazz and Game 1 against the Phoenix Suns. Not coincidentally, the Mavericks are 0-3 in those games, while they are 4-0 in the games that Brunson shot at least 45 percent from the field.

The Villanova product is very important to the Dallas Mavericks finding success on the court as their second-leading scorer. His 25.7 points per game in the postseason is only behind the 33 per game that Doncic is scoring.

Jason Kidd is going to have to figure out ways for Jalen Brunson to get some easy baskets and get things on track against the Suns. Phoenix possessed the third-best defensive rating in the NBA this season, so they made it difficult for everyone to score against them. But, for a player with the stature of Brunson, it is that much more difficult.

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There aren’t many teams in the NBA that are longer than the Phoenix Suns, who have a multitude of players they can throw at you on the wings. Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder, and Devin Booker are in the starting lineup with Cameron Johnson, Torry Craig, and Landry Shamet coming off the bench.

It is one of the challenges that Brunson will have to overcome. There is a chance that some teams will want to offer him less money because of some of his playoff shortcomings, but his stock will not fall too much.

Brunson is one of the best players that will be available this offseason in free agency. He is arguably the No. 1 option for any team looking to add a point guard depending on how things shake out with player and team options.

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Teams will focus on the negative to try and drive a price down, but there is still so much to like about Jalen Brunson as a player. Even if he continues to struggle, it is hard to imagine him not landing a contract worth about $20 million annually this offseason.

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