It is never easy to win in the Western Conference come playoff time and this season is no different as there are plenty of compelling matchups and every team in the conference will start at zero once again.
Perhaps one of the most compelling of the four matchups in the Western Conference playoffs this season is the battle in Texas where the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs will go head to head in what will almost certainly be a heated playoff series.
Every single season these two teams from Texas have to battle each other as they try and come out on top of the Southwest division. There are few competitive divisions around the league, but the one division that is by far the toughest to play in is the Southwest division with the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs usually being the best teams in the division.
This season the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs have been two teams in the league that have gone in different directions.
The Spurs have been trying avoid the inevitable arrival of father time and make the best of what they have left in the Tim Duncan era in San Antonio, but signs of age has been something they just haven’t been able to avoid and this season it has been tough for them just to make the playoffs.
The Mavs on the other hand have seen great success this season which has brought them back to the days of 2006 when they were able to make it all the way to the NBA Finals. In the beginning of the season, the Mavs were riding high and looked like they might be able to contend with the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, but they started to struggle in the towards the end of the first half of the season and something had to be done in terms of player changes.
Fortunately, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn’t hesitate when he knows changes need to be made and in this instance he made the right trade at the right time and the team hasn’t looked back since.
Before the NBA trade deadline on February 18th, a trade was imminent and a deal got done with some potential All-Stars heading to Dallas in exchange for the troubled small forward Josh Howard and veteran forward Drew Gooden.
Both of these players were extremely expendable and were on their way out anyway so the Dallas Mavericks got an absolute steal of a trade when they received Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood in return.
The addition of these three players officially made the Mavs one of the deepest teams, if not the deepest team in the NBA.
Once the team was able to strike up some chemistry, which didn’t take long, the Mavs were on a roll and were able to become the second seed in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs.
Now the Mavs will have to prove that they are as good a team as they were in the regular season by going up against Tim Duncan and company in the first round. It will be a competitive series in the first couple of games, but ultimately the Mavs will prevail in my opinion.
Series Prediction: 4-2 Dallas Mavericks