This is one of the more dazzling matchups we have in the first round. We have a certified young superstar in Luka Doncic and one of the best players in the NBA in Kawhi Leonard. Not only that, but both teams have great talent to wow viewers. The Mavericks offense is electric and the Clippers defense is stout. Who do I have in this NBA playoff prediction?
The Dallas Mavericks have a great offense with Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. Outside of that, there’s a lot of underrated talent. Seth Curry is a lesser version of his brother but shoots 3s at an efficient rate. Maxi Kleber has improved this year and is a household name for Mavericks fans. Dorian Finney-Smith is another guy that can just pop off one night as well. There’s a lot of players that can score on this team. The issue I have with this team is the lack of defense. While they average almost 65 points with just 3 guys on their team, they also give up a lot of points. Will they be able to hold Kawhi Leonard? Paul George? Montrezl Harrell? Lou Williams? That remains to be seen.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers looked vulnerable in their games of the Orlando Bubble. Whenever Kawhi and Paul George weren’t on the floor, the offense struggled mightily. Their defense was okay, it held its own for a bench defense, but without Kawhi or PG the offense was just stagnant. That was helped slightly with Lou Williams. However, Lou is better as the 2nd or 3rd option on the floor. If he’s on the floor without Kawhi or PG, he doesn’t score as well. Their biggest problem has been in their bigs. They desperately missed the presence of Montrezl Harrell, the Clippers regular season X-Factor. He’ll be back in time for the Clippers for game 1 against the Mavericks. While he isn’t the best defender, he is a huge part of the Clippers offense. Paired with Lou Will, those two can hold the offense up if Kawhi and PG rest at the same time. Marcus Morris has been disappointing for the Clippers. However, he is still the Clippers’ fifth option on the team, maybe he can turn it around with not that much pressure on him.
Basically what we have is a team with a great offense and a bad defense vs a team with a good offense and a good defense. One team has a superstar, a great player, and a good player. Another team has one of the best superstars, 1 great player, and 3 good players. With this reasoning, I’m obviously leaning towards the Clippers in this NBA Playoff Prediction. While Luka is amazing and he’ll only get better, Kawhi and PG should be able to limit him at least slightly. The Clippers’ defense will be able to make stops down the stretch. While Kristaps is a unicorn, he just hasn’t maximized his potential yet. The Clippers will be able to get stops on the Mavericks great offense, however, the Mavericks won’t be able to get enough stops on even the Clippers sometimes lackluster offense. Plus, the Clippers will get better as they play at full strength together more. The Mavericks are going to scare the Clippers some games, but they’ll ultimately lose.
Clippers in 6.