Western Conference Semifinals: Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns

Can Luka Doncic get the Dallas Mavericks to the Western Conference Semifinals? Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

In the first round, Dallas took it to the Utah Jazz and won the series 4-2. The Mavericks proved that they have the talent, young with tenacity to make their mark in the playoffs. The Utah Jazz is a talented team but lack the knowledge in getting out of the 1st round because of leadership. Wait! You get all, “Hey you don’t know what you’re talking about on me!” Here’s what I mean. Utah’s head coach Quin Snyder hasn’t gotten his team into the second round since becoming the coach and he has no player on his roster with championship experience. That’s what they need in order to get over the hump. Dallas on the other hand has a proven coach and coaching staff that has won an NBA championship as a player or has coached in an organization that has won a title. With Dallas moving on to the second round of the playoffs, their hands will be full with Phoenix and it starts at the point guard position. Suns point guard Chris Paul will be the x-factor for the series. Stopping him and controlling the boards on both offense and defense is”Job 1″ for Dallas. There’s a huge difference between Utah’s center Rudy Gorber and Suns center Deandre Ayton. The Mavericks can’t start the games launching bad shots like 3’s when you can drive to the rim and get points closer than 30-foot jumpers. Let’s take a look at Dallas versus Phoenix is the Western Conference semifinals. P.S. – Take a look at our Game 5 pictures from the Jazz series.

5/2 – 9:00 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns – TV: TNT
Dallas is on the road to start the next chapter of the 2022 NBA playoffs. The Mavericks can steal a win in Phoenix by controlling the boards and getting Suns center Deandre Ayton in foul trouble. The only way to do that is force the issue and not take 3-point shots at the 5 position. Suns point guard Chris Paul will have total control with the ball in his hands. Match up for Game 1, throw multiple guards at Paul. He gets tired easily. Final Score: Mavericks 109 – Suns 112

5/4 – 9:00 p.m. – Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns – TV: TNT
The first game of the series usually goes to the home team. I’m sharing my thoughts on what I know to be true. The Suns are a better team than what some think they are. They are the #1 seed in the West, and they didn’t get the top seed by playing passive. Dallas has to be aggressive in every aspect of the game. The Mavericks have to have a player on this team that embodies that enforcer roll. Look for Luka to play more of the 2 position instead of the point. He struggles on defense and will be exposed if he doesn’t step up and play defense this series. Final Score: Mavericks 112 – Suns 100

5/6 – 8:30 p.m. – Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks – TV: ESPN
This will be the swing game of the series. I’m picking Dallas for this game. Dallas usually plays tough at home and will show everyone the adjustments they made on the road in Phoenix. The key for this game will be injured players. There are no injured players listed for both rosters (at the time of this article). Game 3 will display how well the coaching staffs for both teams are on making critical moves and playing time for bench players. I’m taking Dallas by 7 for this at home. Final Score: Suns 99 – Mavericks 106

5/8 – 2:30 p.m. – Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks – TV: ESPN
Dallas will be a game closer to the Western Conference Finals with a win at home. Say what you want about the Mavericks, but Dallas is a good team. The x-factor for this game will be guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The Mavericks have a talented leader on the floor and in the locker room in him. He needs more playing time in order to keep a rhythm. Dallas has to shave a few minutes from Bullock and Finney-Smith to get this done. I’m taking Dallas again by 12! Final Score: Suns 102 – Mavericks 114

Remaining Schedule – All Times Central
5/10 – TBD – Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns – TNT    *If Necessary
5/12 – TBD – Phoenix Suns vs Dallas Mavericks – ESPN
5/15 – TBD – Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns