The Dallas Mavericks jumped to fifth in the Western Conference this season but drew a matchup against the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight year. Kawhi Leonard and his team topped Luka Doncic and the Mavs in six games inside the bubble. Dallas’ superstar was incredible, including hitting an iconic game-winning buzzer-beater, but it was not enough to top the Clippers.
Both teams have made changes since the bubble. The Mavericks traded Seth Curry for Josh Richardson. They added J.J. Redick and Nicolo Melli, plus have Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell back from injuries. LA lost Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams but added Nic Batum, Rajon Rondo, Serge Ibaka, and Luke Kennard. Will the changes make a difference in the series?
NBA experts have made their predictions on the first-round series between the Mavs and Clippers. Let us take a closer look at the results.
Experts heavily favor LA Clippers over Dallas Mavericks in playoffs
The Athletic asked a coach, a scout, and an executive to predict every first-round playoff series (subscription required). All three favored the Clippers and noted their superior talent when making the selection.
ESPN asked 16 experts to predict each first-round series. 15 of them chose the Clippers to top the Mavericks, including three guessing LA will win in five games. Royce Young was the only one who selected the Mavs to win the series.
Should the Dallas Mavericks be a massive underdog in the series against the LA Clippers? One could make the case for the Clippers being title favorites. There is also the case that their playoff issues from the bubble return and LA gets bounced in the first round.
The Mavs are a better team than anyone is giving them credit for right now. They won two out of every three games following their 8-13 start. Luka Doncic and his team will not be pushovers in this series. Do not be surprised to see the Dallas Mavericks pull the upset, either. Fans won’t want to miss it, so stay tuned.