Let’s be honest, there are many of us out there (NBA fans that is) that are surprised that BOTH the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors are the final two teams battling for the Western Conference championship. That’s not a knock against either team as I am a fan of both. When the season first started, I admit that I picked the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns to be the last two teams remaining.
But let’s not dwell on the past, especially since I was WAY off. The Warriors and Mavericks both deserve to be here and both deserve to play in the NBA Finals as well. But only one team can make it, so who’s it going to be?
It’s hard to go against the 3-time champion Warriors. Yes, they’ve missed the playoffs the past two seasons, but let’s be honest, we know injuries were the main cause of that. With Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson leading the way, they’re back to their old ways of running, making quick passes, and making an insane amount of three pointers! Coach Steve Kerr has them playing championship level basketball. Let’s not forget the emotional stakes. The Warriors are determined to prove that they are still THE best team in the NBA. While many have written them off, they have not written themselves off, not by a longshot.
Now let’s talk Luka Magic! The Dallas Mavericks have one of, if not THE best player in the league right now. Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić has already led the Mavs further than most predicted this season. There were some that predicted the Mavs would upset the Suns in the 2nd round, but it’s still regarded as a major upset. Especially the way Luka and the Mavs dominated them in Game 7, in Phoenix too! While the Mavs play good team ball, and Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie have proven to be able to score points in bunches, this team pretty much wins and loses based mainly on how Luka is playing. The 23-year-old superstar point guard has career playoff averages 32.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 8.8 assists in 20 games. Let me one more time emphasize, he’s only TWENTY THREE YEARS OLD! The way he is single handedly able to take over a game with his shooting, passing, and advanced basketball IQ, it’s something to see alright. He’s been playing professional basketball from the age of 16, so it’s not surprising at all that he doesn’t run from the pressures of a big game. On the contrary, he seems to like it.
But will it be enough to take the Mavs past the Warriors? Will it be enough to carry them to the NBA Finals to face the Eastern Conference champs (winner of Miami Heat vs. Boston Celtics)? As much as I want to say yes, as much as I want to see the Dallas Mavericks vs Miami Heat for the championship for the third time, I’m going with Golden State in this series. The Warriors are a deeper team, have better team chemistry, and are proven winners. The time will come when Luka leads the city of Dallas to another basketball championship, but that won’t be this year.
PREDICTION: Warriors in 5 or 6
[*** Photo Source: tomsguide.com ***]