Dallas Mavericks versus Oklahoma City Thunder: National predictions

The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder will square off in the NBA Playoff’s Western Conference Semifinal best-of-seven series which begins at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Paycom Center.

The Thunder were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference despite being the second youngest team in the NBA entering the season, do experts predict the Mavs can pull off the upset victory?

Michael C. Wright,

Brace yourself for plenty of bouts of brilliance from Doncic and Irving. Pressure won’t affect them. But the question is whether they’ll be able to maintain that standard of play an entire series. That’ll be tough against OKC, which finished the regular season ranked fourth in defensive rating. Gilgeous-Alexander has been a steady performer all season with a supporting cast that fits almost perfectly. The Thunder are deeper and healthier overall.

Series prediction: Thunder in seven

Justin Martinez, The Oklahoman

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are lethal on offense, and Dallas’ defense has improved significantly since it added Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington at the trade deadline. Still, I’m giving OKC the edge. Lu Dort will at least make life difficult for Doncic, and Chet Holmgren will prevent any finishes in the paint.

Series prediction: Thunder in seven

Clemente Almanza, OKCthunderwire

This should be a back-and-forth series that goes the distance. Both teams are on equal footing as the Mavericks have been one of the best teams in the league since the All-Star break. The Thunder will have to be on their A-game all series. It’ll take the full seven games, but the Thunder will win in a thriller against the Mavericks. Homecourt advantage in Game 7 should significantly help out OKC.

Series prediction: Thunder in seven