The Los Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks faced off against each other in the first round of the playoffs last season, and they will do the same this season. The Clippers won the series last year 4-2, so they'll be looking for a repeat performance while the Mavs will aim for an alternate outcome. Both teams have made some changes since then, but both still have largely the same core. For what it's worth, the Mavericks won two out of three games between the teams during the regular season.
With that said, here's everything you need to know for Game 1 of the series.
(4) Los Angeles Clippers vs. (5) Dallas Mavericks
- Date: Saturday, May 22 | Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Staples Center -- Los Angeles, California
- TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN
- Odds: DAL +205; LAC -245; O/U 217.5 (via William Hill Sportsbook)
Clippers: The Clippers enter the postseason as legitimate title contenders for the second straight season, though this time around they appear to be a slightly more well-rounded team. On paper, they match up well against the Mavericks, since so much of what the Mavs do is predicated on Doncic, and the Clippers have two elite perimeter defenders to deploy against him in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. They're also a great 3-point shooting team, and they have ample playoff experience. They have all the tools to make a deep title run and they should be able to take care of business against Dallas.
Mavericks: The Mavericks will have their hands full against the Clippers, who are a deeper and more experienced team. Kristaps Porzingis will be a big x-factor for Dallas. If he's able to stay healthy, stay out of foul trouble and play to his potential, he could help Dallas make the series competitive. If not, it could be over quickly.
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After the way they flamed out in the playoffs last season, expect the Clippers to come out focused and ready to send a message in Game 1. Pick Clippers -5