Sitting at 45-28 in the Western Conference, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are threatening to overtake the Utah Jazz for home-court advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs - something Dallas hasn’t experienced since the 2011 season.
On the latest episode of What’s Wright? With Nick Wright, though, Nick Wright predicted something a lot bigger for the Mavs than merely getting home-court in a first-round series.
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“Right now, I’m telling you, I don’t think [the] Phoenix [Suns] make it out of round two,” said Wright. “Because … I think the team they play in Round 2 is the team that’s going to go to the Finals. I think this is the Dallas Mavericks’ year — not to win the title, but to get to the Finals.”
Given that Dallas hasn’t made it out of the first round in over a decade, it might be jumping the gun to predict a Finals run when Doncic and the Mavs still have early-round demons to exorcise. However, with Doncic being completely healthy and the Mavs having a top-10 defense, Dallas will have a chance to win every time it steps on the floor.
The Mavs have proven that they’re capable of beating the NBA’s best teams this year, now they’ll just need to prove it in the postseason as well. Dallas has wins over the Memphis Grizzlies (two times), Golden State Warriors (three times) and Utah Jazz (one time) in 2022.
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“I think Luka [Doncic], who is the closest we have seen to LeBron [James] in NBA history. … Luka’s going to have his version of 22-year-old LeBron [in 2007] carrying a very weak Cavs team all the way to the NBA Finals,” said Wright.
“I think Luka can carry the Mavs to the NBA Finals, where they’ll get washed by the [Milwaukee] Bucks.”
Can Luka Doncic lead the Mavs to the Finals like Dirk Nowitzki did on two occasions?
Luka Doncic has made it known that all he cares about is winning a championship.
Luka Doncic drives past his childhood idol LeBron James.
Although the LeBron comparisons to Luka are mostly accurate, we’d argue that this current Mavs team, despite its flaws, is much more talented overall than that 2007 Cleveland Cavaliers club. Where that Cavs team was completely outmatched by the San Antonio Spurs that year, we aren’t sure there’s a team in the league right now that outmatches the Mavs by that same kind of margin.
If Wright’s prediction is correct, then we’ll have a fun NBA Finals preview on April 3 — assuming neither team is resting key players by that point — when the Mavs take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in Milwaukee.
The NBA Play-In Tournament will be held from April 12-15, then the playoffs will begin on April 16.