The No. 1 seed Phoenix Suns will take on the No. 4 seed Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the Western conference playoffs, with the action getting underway on Monday, May 2. The Suns got past the New Orleans Pelicans in six games, after a scare that saw them lose Devin Booker (hamstring) with the series tied 2-2. The Mavericks also closed out their series in six games, as they defeated the Utah Jazz in Game 6 after Bojan Bogdanovic missed a shot at the buzzer.
Suns vs. Mavericks predictions
Odds to win series: Suns -300, Mavericks +230
Regular season record: Suns 64-18, Mavericks 52-30
Head-to-head record: Suns 3-0
While the Suns looked shaky after Booker was diagnosed with a hamstring strain, Chris Paul stepped up his offensive game to make up for the giant hole left on the court. CP3 struggled in Game 4, scoring just four points as the Suns lost 118-103. However, he bounced back and scored 22 points in Game 5, followed by a huge 33 points in Game 6 to help close out the series and advance to the next round. Booker made his return in Game 6 on a minutes restriction and added 13, but all signs point to Phoenix at full strength ahead of the second round.
The Mavericks handled business as they defeated the Jazz in six games, impressively winning two of those without star Luka Doncic, who was sidelined for the first three games of the series with a calf strain. Guys like Jalen Brunson, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Maxi Kleber all stepped up in his absence to keep the series on the front foot, and Doncic led the charge to close it out after his return.
The Mavs have their work cut out for them as they’ll go up against the best team from the regular season. The Suns won all three games in the regular season, and they look like they’re rolling into the second round with a ton of confidence after getting Booker back in action. Dallas will likely have a hard time containing guys like Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges while also working to keep the duo of Booker and Paul from running rampant on both ends of the court.
Pick: Suns in 6 games
Barring any other injuries to their core players, the Suns should be able to handle this series without much trouble. This is the first time the Mavericks have made it past the first round since 2011, and they’ll have that to hang their hat on but this is almost certainly where the road ends for Jason Kidd and his squad. A fully healthy Phoenix team should be able to get this wrapped up in six games or less.
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