Lakers, Portland Out of the Playoffs, Mavericks Can End it for the Clippers

Can the dynamic duo of Luka Doncic and Boban Marjanovic close out the Clippers on Friday night?
Photo Courtesy: Erik Drost

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I told you guys that in my 2021 NBA Playoff preview that the Lakers would lose in the first round to the Suns and Portland would lose to Denver. I shared the players that will change the landscape of this years playoffs. Let’s take a look at what happened in both series and also take a peek at the Dallas Mavericks / Los Angeles Clippers Game 6 along with my prediction.

Phoenix Suns vs LA Lakers – Suns Win Series 4-2
PG Chris Paul lead a very young and talented team against the current NBA champs. The Suns were supposed the be the sacrificial lamb for a Lakers repeat. The Suns won 51 games this year and ripped through the Western Conference. How could you not see this coming. Suns guard Devin Booker showed the world that he belongs on the big stage and scored 47 points on 15/22 shooting and grabbed 11 defensive rebounds as well. The key to this series wasn’t about LeBron James, it was about Anthony Davis. His injury kept him off of the floor and his team with an uneasy starting line up. He gave it a shot by starting the game but the injury sidelined him again and the Lakers lost by 13. LA is the first team to lose in the opening round of the playoffs after winning the championship since San Antonio in 2015. Next up for the Suns will be the Denver Nuggets.

Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trail Blazers – Nuggets Wins Series 4-2
You could’ve bought me a ticket for a nickel for this one. This was supposed to be Portland’s year. They have lost in the first round of the playoff the last six years! This series was slated to go seven games because Denver didn’t have their starting point guard who was injured midway through the season. Well someone didn’t tell the Nuggets! Denver’s starting front court averages 6’10 and up. Portland was the smaller team, but rebounding and points in the paint played a huge factor. Denver’s star center Nikola Jokic scored 36 and sent the Blazers home for another year. Look for the Nuggets to possibly make it to the Western Conference Finals. Portland’s guard Damian Lillard struggled through this series. He led his team in scoring but struggled from behind the arc. This Blazers team will probably be broken up after this one. Next up for the Nuggets will be the Phoenix Suns.

Dallas Mavericks vs LA Clippers – Dallas Leads the Series 3-2
This series has been the rubber series of the NBA playoffs this year. Both teams won on the road and Dallas went back to LA and beat the Clippers at home… again! Dallas has a great chance at closing out the series in Dallas and moving on to face the Utah Jazz. Here we go! There are two scenarios for Dallas to win the series. Rebounding and defense. First rebounding, Dallas has a +9 in rebounding in every game they have won in this series. Last game they started Boban Marjanovic and totally disrupted the Clippers from grabbing rebounds and stifled second chance points. Luka Doncic On the defensive end, Dallas clogged the middle and kept Kawhi Leonard and Paul George out of the paint. If the Clippers come out shooting 41% from the perimeter, Dallas will lose at home and the series heading back to LA!