4 Teams the Dallas Mavericks shouldn’t want to see in the Play-In Tournament

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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2. Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns have suffered one of the most disappointing stories of the NBA season after Suns’ governor Matt Ishiba added Bradley Beal to a group that already featured Kevin Durant and Devin Booker last summer. The Suns are currently 42-30, as their big-three have scarcely played on the court together this season due to a myriad of injuries between the three stars.

The Suns have a pretty solid record when you take into account that most of their salary cap is divided amongst their three superstars, as the Suns’ biggest challenge this season has been formulating a blend of defense and perimeter shooting outside of their big-three.

The addition of Royce O’Neale at the trade deadline has given Phoenix a lot more strength on the wing from a defensive standpoint, as the Suns have struggled at defending the point-of-attack all season.

The biggest wild card in any Mavericks-Suns play-in game is without a doubt the performance and availability of the Suns’ big three though. The trio has flashed some insane offensive dynamism but has also put up some terrible duds together, such as was the case with last night’s loss to the Victor Wembanyama-less San Antonio Spurs.

The Suns’ lack of defense and rim protection is something Dallas can look to exploit in a matchup against the Suns in a potential play-in game, as Dallas’ frontcourt has the potential to dominate against Phoenix’s both defensively and on the glass when you take into consideration that the Mavericks were able to play Jusuf Nurkic off the floor the last time they played against Phoenix.

While Phoenix may be the best matchup for the Mavericks right now, things could change drastically if their big-three decides to kick it into another gear, which they are certainly capable of despite inconsistencies from Bradley Beal all season.

Phoenix’s star power makes them an extremely dangerous opponent for the Mavericks in a win-or-go-home scenario, but there’s still one opponent that Dallas should be even more cautious to avoid having to play against in the Play-In Tournament.

The Suns-Mavs rivalry would surely continue if they play each other, but this would not be an easy game.