Roundtable: Mavericks vs Clippers predictions

We asked the staff (earlier in the week, before the Kawhi likely being out for game one news) what they think is going to happen in this Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers round one playoff series. Here’s what everyone had to say:

David: I’m taking the Mavericks in 5 games. Luka Doncic was able to take the Clippers to a game 7 with a team inferior to the one he has now and a Clippers team with a deeper bench. This will be a statement series for Dereck Lively, and I think he’ll end up playing more than Gafford. Dante Exum will be crucial too, as he might eventually get the start over Derrick Jones Jr. Dallas is simply better than the Clippers and they can attack them in ways they couldn’t in round one or two. This will be a statement series from Luka Doncic and his Mavericks when they get the best of their old rivals finally.

Kirk: Mavericks in six. So much comes down to Kawhi but I am confident in this team and I’m never confident. Let’s go get this done.

Matthew: Mavericks in 6. If Kawhi Leonard is anything other than an apex predator, this series will be much shorter than 6 games. This is an interesting matchup, because the Mavericks can theoretically do so much more to counter the Clippers than in previous series. PJ Wahington, Derrick Jones Jr and Dante Exum provide the Mavericks with so much more length and athleticism than they had in the previous matchups. That being said, the Mavericks defensive strengths of taking away shots at the rim and free throws don’t really matter because the Clippers don’t rely on those things anyway. This series comes down to the difference between Luka passing to Kyrie Irving instead of Tim Hardaway Jr. after guard, guard pick and rolls. So many possessions died after passes to Hardaway in previous series. That won’t happen anymore, so the Mavericks will win.

Ben: It depends on how healthy Kawhi is going into the series. If he’s limited, it could be Mavs in 5. But if Kawhi is truly healthy, Clippers in 7. Luka is the best player in the series, but after that, the Clippers probably have 5 of the best 7 players remaining. Add in the fact that the Clippers will have a coaching advantage with Ty Lue, and it will take a superhuman effort from Luka to pull out the win. The good thing for the Mavs—he can definitely do that.

Xavier: Clippers in 7. Luka and Kyrie will get theirs at home, the road, your local high school gym. It doesn’t matter. A potential game 7 in LA does, however, give me pause when it comes to our role players. Derrick Jones Jr, in particular, shoots 10 percentage points worse from 3 on the road. I’m the president of the PJ Washington fan club but I don’t think he’ll be able to shoot well enough to keep them honest on defense. Clippers are built to expose our defensive liabilities. They’ll be able to bum hunt Luka and more so Kyrie. Playing drop plays right into what Harden wants to do. We give up a ton of corner threes and they were the 6th best team in the league from deep. Offensively, they pose more problems than we have the solutions for and I think the best version of the Clippers(with a healthy Kawhi) is better than the best version of the Mavericks. During the regular season, we were able to get away with things that the Clippers can and will expose in the playoffs.

Matt: Mavericks in 5 because I’ve studied the Hero’s Journey and this is the year Luka vanquishes this particular foe. Additionally, and perhaps more seriously, if Kawhi’s not 100% I don’t think the Clippers stand a chance. This iteration seems more locked in, more focused on making a post-season impact. Moreso, even, than the 2021 squad and their surprise Western Conference Finals run. That felt more akin to a “happy to be here” situation. This lineup exudes the vibe that they won’t be happy unless they get there.

Clint: I think the Mavericks win game 1 so convincingly that the Clippers choose to forfeit the rest of the series. In fact, I expect many Clippers players and coaches to commit seppuku after the game. Mavs Man will serve as their second and deliver the killing blow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights