With the Clippers set to open the playoffs against the same first-round opponent as last year, it’s easy to want to compare this first-round series to the 2020 edition. But it’s not just the Clippers who have changed in the intervening months; the Mavericks aren’t the same team they were in last year’s postseason either.
In order to get a feel for this specific Dallas team, Sabreena is joined on the podcast by Kirk Henderson, the editor of Mavs Moneyball, SB Nation’s Dallas Mavericks site. Kirk and Sabreena preview this series by emphasizing the differences from last year’s playoffs. They spend some time on how LA’s defense is better suited to guard Dallas this time around, both because of personnel changes, but also better health and the internal improvement of Ivica Zubac. They then get into why that isn’t exactly the case for the Mavericks, despite their efforts to upgrade their defense during the offseason.
They also talk about which team’s second star is better suited to succeed in this series. Dallas doesn’t have a way to guard Paul George, but that didn’t seem to matter in 2020. Similarly, Kristaps Porzingis didn’t have much of an impact in the last playoffs, largely due to injury, but it’s hard to say if he’s in better physical shape to do so this year.
Kirk and Sabreena also get to some of the less flashy storylines at play in this matchup, including some narrative battles, before closing with predictions.
You can listen to all that and more in the full episode embedded below, and to make sure you never miss a single show moving forward, subscribe to the Clips Nation podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, or Google Podcasts.