NBA Legend drops bold prediction for Mavericks vs Thunder series

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are set to face off against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals. The two teams are only separated by a two-and-a-half-hour drive, and yet the Thunder nearly swept the Mavericks in their regular season series.

The Mavericks only managed to win one game against the Thunder this season and that came on February 10 when the Mavs walloped the Thunder after the trade deadline.

Despite the season series being in the Thunder's favor, this could be a much tighter playoff series than originally anticipated.

Paul Pierce picks Mavericks to take Thunder in 2024 NBA Playoffs

On FS1's show Undisputed, NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce was asked who he would take in a seven-game series between the Mavericks and Thunder. Pierce listed several reasons but ultimately landed on the Mavericks winning this series due to their experience in the playoffs.

Pierce is a former NBA Champion with the Boston Celtics in 2008, so having a legend of his caliber choose the Mavericks over a young team like the Thunder holds a lot of water. Pierce has plenty of reason to believe the Mavericks can win and his biggest reason was because of the "Thunder's inexperience late in the postseason."

Youth and experience have often been the defining factor between a winner and loser in a playoff series and Pierce knows this better than anyone. Picking the Mavericks over the Thunder due to their lack of playoff experience is a valid take for the Hall Of Famer.

The Mavericks will have many factors going against them including losing Maxi Kleber for the remainder of the second round. Kleber proved to be a pivotal piece off the bench against the Clippers and became an elite shot maker from the perimeter in Game 5.

Despite this, the Mavericks will welcome back Tim Hardaway Jr. after he suffered an ankle sprain in Game 2 against the Clippers. With Kleber now out, having a player of Hardaway Jr's. capabilities from the perimeter will be critical if the Mavericks wish to beat the Thunder.

Obviously, Paul Pierce has had some questionable takes over his post-basketball career but regardless, having a player of Pierce's stature rooting for the Mavericks should be held in high regard.

The Mavericks will have their work cut out for them against the Thunder as OKC head coach Mark Daigneault was recently named the Coach Of The Year in the NBA. Daigneault has historically run a very intricate system with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander being the focal point of the offense.

For more updates on the Dallas Mavericks playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder, stay tuned in for more.