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Suns at Mavericks

Can Dallas continue their hot streak with a win over one of favourites to take the NBA title?

Newton WrightNewton Wright
June 22nd, 2022
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The Phoenix Suns are set to face the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, January 20th in the American Airlines Center in Dallas. These are two of the hottest teams in the NBA currently. The Suns have taken back the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference over the Warriors, and the Mavericks have won nine out of their last 10 games as of Tuesday. Dallas have climbed from a play-in team to having a solid position as the fifth team in the West. Both of these teams should be fully healthy for this matchup in what could be a potential playoff matchup preview down the line. There will be no lack in star power in this contest with Chris Paul and Devin Booker playing for the Suns and Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis suiting up for the Mavericks.

The season started off extremely slow for the Dallas Mavericks. Luka Doncic was struggling early, and it looked like there was little to no chemistry between him and his co-star, Porzingis. Porzingis was out due to covid protocols from December 31st until January 15th. That was the time that the Mavericks made their best run of the season, winning five of six games while he was out. It was unknown how the team would perform when he returned to the lineup, but it turned out to be a smooth transition for him coming back. The Mavericks, with Porzingis, then went on to win three straight games in his return. Dallas will look to make it four in a row Wednesday against the Raptors and then five in a row in this matchup against the Suns on Thursday.

The Phoenix Suns are also on a nice winning run of their own. They now have a three-game lead in the Western Conference over the Warriors due to this streak where they have won seven of their last eight games. It also helps that the Warriors have had Steph Curry in and out of the lineup recently, and they dropped five of their last seven games. Devin Booker has been on an absolute tear for the Suns in this most recent winning run. In their last three games, Booker has had 30, 35, and 48 points. Booker has been more aggressive shooting the ball which the team has needed with their second-leading scorer, Deandre Ayton, out of the lineup. He is also shooting a career high from three point range at 40% this season so far. This Suns team is also very deep, and when Ayton has been out of the lineup a combination of Frank Kaminsky, Javale Mcgee, Bismack Biyombo, and Jalen Smith have all played great. The Suns are hard to beat and look like a strong championship contender again this season.


This will be a tough matchup for the Dallas Mavericks, and really any NBA team, but it will be a good test for this team to see if their recent success can continue against one of the best NBA teams. Keys for this team will be to continue to build that chemistry between Doncic and Porzingis. Luka Doncic likely can't carry this team by himself and he will need Porzingis to be at the top of his game as well. The Mavericks will need to slow down Devin Booker, who has been extremely hot these last few games. Dallas has one of the best wing defenders in Reggie Bullock and he will likely draw the tough assignment of guarding Booker for the night. There is arguably no one else the team would want to guard Booker, and it will be one of the most intriguing matchups to watch in the game. 

Keys for the Phoenix Suns will be to just keep playing their game. This team is talented with good chemistry and they shouldn't have to make any significant changes to get a win in this game. One big key however, will be to get Deandre Ayton back for this game. Ayton is not only a big scoring threat for the Suns but he also is impactful defensively. His presence down low will alter Doncic's drives to the basket and will also prevent Porzingis from having his way inside. Ayton effects the game on both ends of the court, and slowing the Mavericks' two stars will prove to be crucial to pick up a win in this contest.

This Thursday night matchup features two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference. The Mavericks have had a midseason resurgence, and the Suns have taken back first place in the conference. Both of these teams have something to prove. For the Mavericks, it is proving that they are for real, and for the Suns, it is maintaining their hold at the top of the West. This game will be a competitive matchup against two teams that are currently rolling.

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