3 teams the Dallas Mavericks must avoid in the first round of the playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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1. Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets are the worst possible matchup for the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, and it's not by a particularly close margin. The Mavericks have lost both games that they've played against the Nuggets this year and worst of all, Dallas has looked completely out-talented in those contests.

The Nuggets are extremely dynamic on offense and run almost everything through their two time MVP in Nikola Jokic as we all know, and the Mavericks don't have any tailor-made solution toward stopping Jokic, as no other team in the league does either.

The Mavericks will have a tough time containing the Jamal Murray-Jokic pick-and-roll when you take into consideration that Denver has tremondous shooting, cutting, and positional size in the rest of their starting lineup with Michael Porter Jr., Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Aaron Gordon. The incumbent NBA champions have built their roster to curate toward Jokic's play-style and it's led them toward being just as unstoppable as last year as the Nuggets appraoch the playoffs, even if the Nuggets have a little less offense off the bench compared to last year.

The Nuggets are wiry defensively across the board, so the Mavericks will need to look to exploit weak links within Denver's defense as much as possible if they end up facing off against each other in the first round. Nikola Jokic is one of the few superstars who may have a greater impact on his team's winning than Luka Doncic, so hopefully Kyrie Irving could be the third best player on the court in a Mavs-Nuggets series, as Dallas would almost certainly lose if it was Murray.

The Nuggets currently have the second seed in the Western Conference, only trailing the Oklahoma City Thunder, so Dallas should look to avoid landing in seeds seven or eight as Denver will likely finish as the first or second seed in the conference.

Dallas has a chance to get another bite at the apple against Denver on Sunday afternoon in one of the biggest games of the season for Dallas thus far, so stay tuned with us as we'll have you covered leading up to the Mavericks next game.