NBA Analyst names Mavericks as top team to take down elite contender in playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

After the Dallas Mavericks' 132-96 win at Sacramento against the Kings on Tuesday night, Tim Legler on ESPN's Get Up had one team on his mind on who he thought would take down the defending NBA Champions.

"This is the real threat, for me in the Western Conference to the Denver Nuggets," Legler said about the Mavs.

This is a bold statement, but it might just come true.

NBA Analyst names Mavericks as top team to take down elite contender in playoffs

The Mavericks have heated up in March by winning 10 of their last 11 games, have a 44-29 record, and are the sixth seed in the Western Conference. The last time Dallas matched up with Denver, Kyrie Irving hit a game-winner at the buzzer, and Legler may be right about the Mavs' potency to take down the Nuggets.

Dallas could pose a threat to the Nuggets due to the different looks they could throw at Nikola Jokic. Dereck Lively II did a great job when guarding Jokic during their last matchup, and they can also use P.J. Washington, Maxi Kleber and Daniel Gafford to guard the former MVP.

Denver may be the toughest team in the Western Conference, but Dallas has taken down heavy favorites in the past.

The last time the Mavericks made the playoffs, it was in 2022. In the second round of the playoffs, the Mavericks faced off against the best team in the NBA, the 64-win Phoenix Suns. Led by Luka Doncic's 35 points, the Mavericks upset the Suns in Game 7 in Phoenix with a 123-90 win. In 2021, the Suns won the Western Conference.

"This is the best team Luka's had," Legler said. "And that's saying a lot."

With Doncic averaging a new career-high 33.8 points this season, he also averages over nine rebounds and nine assists. Kyrie Irving has averaged 25.3 points per game this season.

"He seems to have found a perfect chemistry with Kyrie Irving," Legler said. "They've added some pieces to improve their depth."

The Mavericks made two important trades at the deadline to add depth and it has helped. Since trading for Daniel Gafford from the from the Washington Wizards, he's averaged 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.8 blocked shots per game in 20 games for the Mavericks.

Since trading for P.J. Washington from the Charlotte Hornets, he's averaged 10.7 pointers per game and 6 rebounds in 20 games for the Mavericks. Tim Hardaway Jr. has averaged 15.4 points per game coming off the bench.

"Right now, they got a swagger about them," Legler said. "They're playing the best basketball at the right time."

Legler clearly believes in Dallas' abilities, and only time will tell if they pose a serious threat to the Nuggets.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.