Dallas Mavericks predicted to face unfavorable matchup in playoffs

Jan 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and guard Kyrie Irving (11)
Jan 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and guard Kyrie Irving (11) / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA season quickly winding down, many fans and media's eyes have begun to shift to the playoffs even though the season has three more weeks remaining.

A lot of things can happen in three weeks, and teams that we think are contenders could quickly become pretenders and vice versa.

One team that is showing everyone that they are true contenders is the Dallas Mavericks, and all signs are pointing to them being a team that no one wants to see in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavs were recently declared as a "nightmare matchup" for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and they are stringing together wins at the perfect time.

Dallas Mavericks predicted to face unfavorable matchup in playoffs

Dallas' most recent win came against the Utah Jazz on Thursday night, and they have another chance to grab another win against the Jazz tomorrow night. The Mavs are currently the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and are 41-29. If the playoffs began today, Dallas would face the Thunder.

Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report made a prediction that the Mavs would play the Minnesota Timberwolves when he made a complete bracket prediction for the 2024 NBA Playoffs, and this shouldn't necessarily be a matchup that Mavs fans want.

Although Karl-Anthony Towns recently went down with an injury that could keep him out until the playoffs, the Timberwolves are not a team Dallas should want to face. The Mavs are 1-3 against Minnesota this season and the Timberwolves have the No. 1 defensive rating in the NBA.

The Timberwolves also happen to have one of the best rim protectors in the NBA in Rudy Gobert, and Naz Reid is an elite floor-spacing big who typically has big performances against the Mavs. Not to mention that Anthony Edwards has been playing great over the last two months and is showing that he could be one of the best players in the NBA one day.

Regardless of how tough this theoretical matchup between Dallas and Minnesota would be, the Mavs would still have a great shot at knocking off the Timberwolves. You can never count out Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in any playoff series that they play in, and the Timberwolves certainly don't want to see the Mavericks either.

Doncic and Irving are one of the hardest duos in the NBA to stop, and the Mavs' improved defense led by P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford may be enough to knock off the Timberwolves. In the Mavs' lone win against the Timberwolves this year, Irving and Doncic combined for 69 points and the Timberwolves had no answer for them.

Worrying about who the Mavs play in the first round of the playoffs is still weeks away, but Dallas is showing that they can hang with any team in the NBA lately.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs, stay tuned