The Phoenix Suns should do whatever they can to avoid Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Phoenix Suns do not want to see Luka Doncic in the playoffs, specifically in the first round. If the season ended today obviously that would be the matchup as the Suns are the 2-seed and the Mavs are the 7-seed in the West.
Other than LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and maybe Dame Lillard, Luka is at the top of the list of guys you don’t want to play in a series. It’s his style of play, his pace, his way of selling calls to officials, and his big-game ability that would frighten me if I were the Suns.
Think of Luka as a bigger James Harden, mixed with a little of Larry Bird, and even a little bit of Steve Nash. That is a lethal combination, a player whose team is built around his brilliance and gets to the line like Harden. A guy who carries himself has a similar frame and has the swagger of a guy like Bird. And the pick-and-roll style halfcourt ability of a guy like Nash.
More from Sir Charles In Charge
- Dillon Brooks proved his value to Houston Rockets in the 2023 FIBA World Cup
- NBA Trade Rumors: 1 Player from each team most likely to be traded in-season
- Golden State Warriors: Buy or sell Chris Paul being a day 1 starter
- Does Christian Wood make the Los Angeles Lakers a legit contender?
- NBA Power Rankings: Tiering all 30 projected starting point guards for 2023-24
Luka takes over games, the step back going to his left from 30 feet, the floater after getting his defender on his back after a high screen, his passing for the corner 3, or the lob after he draws two guys in the paint. Not to mention the selling of the calls, these are all things that make a player so tough to guard. Offensively, there’s not a lot of guys that can touch Luka.
That being said, Phoenix, whose having their best season in the last 10 years, could very well be “upset” by a Luka-led Dallas team. However, there are a few scenarios in which the Mavs-Suns first-round match-up doesn’t happen. Which is good for Phoenix and bad for whoever ends up with the grand prize of having to contain Luka in a seven-game series.
Let’s layout the scenarios.
How the Phoenix Suns could avoid the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs: Donovan Mitchell’s injury
This one is simple, Donovan Mitchell may miss significant time after suffering an ankle injury. Even if it is just a week or two, the Jazz is a different team on the road, and of their next six games, five of them are on the road, without Mitchell who is their best player. The Suns are 1.5 games back of Utah for the 1-seed in the West.
There’s a world in which the Suns climb up and snatch the top seed from Utah.
How the Phoenix Suns could avoid the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs: The forgotten Grizzlies
Let’s call it what it is, the Grizzlies find a way to either get in or make a push to get in the playoffs it seems like every single season. As it sits they are currently the 8-seed but are just a win or loss away changing a few different team’s playoff seedings.
The roster and coaching staff from those grit and grind teams from a few years ago are gone but the attitude and stigma are not. Memphis finds a way to be good enough, and win just enough to stay in the mix.
Look for them to possibly take that seven seed away. Of their last 10 games, they’re 7-3, not too bad in a league when some of the top dog teams are dealing with injuries.
How the Phoenix Suns could avoid the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs: The “who knows” LA Clippers
Here’s the thing with the Clippers, uber-talented, when healthy they’re deep, and they have guys with playoff experience. They somehow find a way to disappoint all 16 of the loyal Clippers fans in LA by being great and then doing something dramatically bad. Or being hyped, and then just “no showing” a four-game road trip.
However, the team has made some changes to its roster and added some guys that will be great in a playoff series. For instance, Rajon Rondo, a two-time champion, ultimate basketball IQ guy, and also a guy who doesn’t take away shots from Kawhi and Paul George. They’re currently the 3-seed in the West and with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out you have to assume that the Lakers will continue to drop some games right?
The Clippers are 8-2 in their last 10 games and when they’re clicking on all cylinders they’re arguably one of the best teams in the league. It’s not inconceivable to think they can get the 2-seed and end up playing Luka in the Mavs in the first round of this year’s playoffs.