Prediction for 2022-23 season: 1. Dallas Mavericks win West
The Mavs defeated the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs on the back of their defense. Luka Doncic missed the first three games, but Dallas won two of those. They finished the series by holding Utah to 100 or fewer points in four of the six games.
The Mavericks limited Phoenix to their three lowest-scoring games of the season in the second round to advance to the conference finals where they ran into the Warriors. Dallas had a chance in that series, but things did not go their way. Luka proved he is one of the best players in the world and reassured every team in the league that they do not want to face him in the playoffs.
By the time we reach the postseason, the Mavericks will be ready for another run, and the conference is wide open. The Clippers are currently favored, but they have struggled to stay healthy since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined forces three years ago. Golden State won its season opener, but they have already faced some turmoil. Denver is banking on two of its stars returning from major injuries.
It is easy to forget that Dallas nearly knocked off the fully healthy Clippers in the 2021 playoffs. Kawhi had to nuclear in Games 6 and 7 to bring LA back from the dead. Is Leonard still capable of those performances?
The Dallas Mavericks win the Western Conference as Luka Doncic proves he is an all-time great player that will go down as one of the 20 best players in NBA history. Stay tuned for the ride.