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Why Dallas Mavericks want to face Utah Jazz in first round of playoffs

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks will finish no worse than fifth in the Western Conference with three games left to play in the regular season. They are currently playing their best basketball behind an incredible stretch of games from superstar Luka Doncic, and Dallas is likely to secure homecourt in the first round of the playoffs. The question on the mind of every fan is who will the Mavs face after two straight years of heartbreaking losses to the LA Clippers in the opening series?

Dallas will face either the Utah Jazz or the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. The Mavericks are one game behind the Warriors for third in the Western Conference and hold the tiebreaker. Dallas will either finish third or fourth. Utah is a half-game ahead of Denver heading into play on April 6 with those two teams taking fifth and sixth in some order.

There are tons of scenarios that could shift the matchups in the Western Conference during the final five days of the regular season, but the Mavs are hoping to draw the Jazz in the opening round. They should be favored over either opponent, but here is why Utah is the preferred matchup.

Why Dallas Mavericks want to face Utah Jazz in first round of playoffs

The Nuggets are dealing with injuries to their second and third-best players, and Dallas won two of the three meetings against Denver this season. Luka Doncic and company are not afraid of that matchup.

Rudy Gobert is one of the best defenders in the league, and the Jazz have one of the best homecourt advantages in the game. The Mavericks split four games with Utah this season as both teams won their two home tilts.

The Jazz may seem like a more difficult matchup on paper, but here are three reasons why the Dallas Mavericks want to draw Utah in the first round of the playoffs.