The Dallas Mavericks have established some kind of rivalry with the Phoenix Suns in recent years. Luka Doncic had several conflicts with Devin Booker, so right now, there is an extraordinary amount of tension and intensity when these two teams meet. It is why the NBA decided to include this matchup in their Christmas schedule. And we do believe that they didn’t make a mistake.
Even though these two units aren’t playing fantastic basketball, they are still one of the biggest favorites to end at the top of the Western Conference. The Mavericks have delivered decent results, and that’s mostly due to Doncic’s MVP form, while the Suns struggle to gain consistency and underachieve. Even though there are legitimate reasons for Phoenix’s troubles, that can’t be an alibi for the current situation.
Doncic and Exum in Good Shape
The Mavericks had a nasty stretch of games at the start of this week, losing three in a row – against the Nuggets in Denver, the Clippers at home, and eventually against the Rockets in Texas. However, they bounced back with a convincing performance versus the San Antonio Spurs, whom they defeated 144-119.
“I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Luka Doncic on if there’ll be more smoke between him and Devin Booker 👀 pic.twitter.com/p7TVJWXPyy
— There’s no way (@theresnoway30) December 23, 2023
Luka is one of the frontrunners for winning this year’s NBA MVP award. So far, he scores 32.9 points per game and has 9.1 boards and 8.6 assists, which is fantastic productivity, and it’s no reason why everybody sees him as the leader in the MVP race.
The guy who also exploded over the recent few matches is Dante Exum. Over the last 10 events, the Aussie delivered 16.6, with over 56% of shooting for three points. Once, one of the biggest talents in the NBA is finally showing his potential, following a year in Partizan Belgrade, where he exploded during the previous campaign.
Suns Need a Playmaker
The Phoenix Suns are in a troublesome position because they have had four defeats in the previous five appearances, with the only victory coming against the Washington Wizards in Arizona. Even that one was pretty tight, 112-108, and we can say that the Suns have problems creating positive chemistry on the court.
This doesn’t have to mean anything because the franchise from Phoenix has too many superstars on its roster, and they currently don’t have the help of Bradley Bill. One of the best shooters in the league played just six events for this crew.
Devin Booker adds 27.7 points per night but also has 8.2 assists. Yet, he isn’t a true point guard, and the Suns need to get a proper, typical playmaker who will “glue” the entire team while being on the court. His and Durant’s exceptional execution skills can’t cover the lack of a proper organizer.
Mavericks VS Suns Head to Head
This will be the first clash between these two franchises during the current campaign. Looking at the previous one, we see that the result in the seasonal series was even, with two victories apiece. Each team had one win on the road.
We all remember the 2022 Western Conference semi-finals when the Mavericks managed to eliminate the Suns after 7 games. That matchup was the one that produced the rivalry between these teams.
Mavericks VS Suns Prediction
The Mavs are on the road in this one, but with Luka and Dante Exum playing like they do now, we have enough reasons to believe that the Mavericks can pull out a surprise on the road and win this matchup or at least defend the spread which is 5.5 points.
Here are the BetXchange odds for this and other NBA matchups.