The NBA playoffs seedings are becoming clearer.
Which team should the top seeds fear the most?
The first thing is that with such a young core the Mavericks have a bright future ahead. How long this bright future goes on for however depends on how long they can keep Porzingis and Doncic for.
Baring one of these two going to free agency this could potentially be the start of a dynasty in Dallas. Picking up where Dirk Nowitzki left off.
Considering how young the Mavericks are they should have nothing to fear, especially when it comes to the playoffs.
The main reason for this is because they will get other opportunities in the playoffs because they are both top players, so even if they do leave Dallas, they will be wanted on teams that can contend.
Even if they go out early, they can learn from their experiences and plan better for their next playoff run while also potentially recruiting other players to come and play alongside them.
The fact that the Mavericks already have two young players with nothing to lose is bad enough. But it just gets worse when you add in the fact that one of those two young players are playing at an MVP calibre level.
Luka Doncic is having an extraordinary season averaging 28.7 points, 9.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists along with 46.4% shooting.
This would be a great season for a player in their prime let alone a player who is only 20 years old. So, he has nothing to lose and is now on a roll.
That’s a lot to fear.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Hard to predict
Sitting in the sixth seed in the West it’s fair to say that the Oklahoma City Thunder have been the surprise team in the NBA this season.
But with Chris Paul’s experience and playmaking ability he has helped elevate the Thunder to a potential playoff team. Thus, making the Thunder very unpredictable.
One of Oklahoma’s strengths is that they have multiple players who can score efficient double-digit points.
Four out of their starting five are averaging over 15 points per game and all but on of these players are shooting over 45%, but the player shooting under this is shooting 44.1%.
This makes it hard to know who is going to be scoring the points on a night to night basis, so if one player is shooting the ball badly then there are another three players who could potentially step up.
Youth and experience
While Dallas have a relatively young main core, Oklahoma have it a bit different.
They have a mix of young and old players, experience mixed with the future of the team.
However, the fresh legs of players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be important when it comes to the latter parts of games.
As to my own personal preference I think both teams would be a matchup to avoid in the playoffs for different reasons. But if I had to choose, I would avoid the Dallas Mavericks. This is due to the fact they have a very good and proven big man in Kristaps Porzingis alongside an MVP contender in Luka Doncic who is on fire at the moment.