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Contender Comparison: Dallas Mavericks vs Golden State Warriors

This is the most fun potential Western Conference Finals matchup. Who has the advantage?

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Would there be a more entertaining Western Conference Finals matchup than Mavericks vs Warriors? You’d have Luka Doncic taking his team to the next step, going up against Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green as they try to make another title run. What’s better than the young guy coming for the Western Conference throne by taking on the trio that sat in the throne for years? Let’s compare the two teams.

Best player: Luka Doncic vs Steph Curry

This is about as tough of a matchup as you’ll find. Steph Curry is one of the greatest point guards of all time, and easily the best shooter of all time. He’s also shown no signs of decline. Doncic, on the other hand, is only 22 years old, but is already one of the best players in the league and is headed toward legendary status.

There’s a chance the internet will come for my head with this one, but if I was in a situation where I had to win four playoff series’ in a row, I’d rather have Luka Doncic right now.

Luka’s ability to control every single aspect of the game from the opening tip to the final buzzer is just too tantalizing to pick against here.

I’m going to move on before I change my mind.

Sidekicks: Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. vs Klay Thompson and Draymond Green

This is a matchup that’s heavily dependent on health. If Klay Thompson comes back and looks like the Klay Thompson we’re used to seeing, the Warriors win the sidekicks matchup handily. But what if it takes Klay more than one season to get back to normal? And what if Kristaps Porzingis actually stays healthy and looks like he looked in preseason action? In that scenario, I’d have to give the edge to Dallas.

I have more faith in Klay coming back and being himself than I do in Kristaps’ ability to stay healthy for an entire postseason run. Because of that, I’m going to give the advantage to the sidekicks who have already won three NBA titles. That feels right.

Depth

How do you compare a Honda Accord and a Nissan Altima? Both cars are fine. They’ll likely get you where you need to go. They’re better than bad cars. But neither car gets me excited to drive. They aren’t Teslas. They aren’t BMWs. They aren’t 1973 Dodge Chargers. (Someone please give me a black 1973 Dodge Charger with an all-white interior. Thanks.)

Golden State’s depth is a Honda Accord and Dallas’ depth is a Nissan Altima. (I’m not a huge car guy so I really hope Accords and Altimas are actually similar.)

Neither one of these teams has a bench that will be selling Bench Mob t-shirts halfway through the season, but they’re both serviceable. They’re fine. They’ll likely get you where you need to go.

I’m going to give Dallas the advantage here solely because I’m falling in love with Sterling Brown more and more by the minute. That guy’s awesome, and the Mavericks have him.

Swag

Not only have the Warriors won three of the last seven NBA championships, but they’ve also been leading the league in SPPD (Swag Points Per Day) for the last seven or so years. If the Mavericks want to be the new kings of the Western Conference, they’ll have to perform both on the court and off the court at an elite level. They need to come for the swag champs as well as the NBA champs.

Steph Curry is about as cool as it gets. His whole thing of taking what should be impossible 3-point shots, turning and looking at the crowd while the ball is in the air, running back on defense, and then listening to it swish behind him is never-before-seen levels of swag.

Klay Thompson is also elite at the swag game. Look at one of his Instagram posts from September:

This is a man who posted a photo of himself on Instagram working out while dressed like Jackie Moon, acknowledged that he’s going to go with the look this year, and provided the hashtag #lovemesexy. And you want someone on the Mavericks to compete with this?

I hope the Mavericks can be on the same swag planet as the Warriors some day, but for now, that’s not the case. The Warriors are a swag party of one.

Overall advantage: Mavericks

I’m going to be brutally honest with any of you readers who have made it this far in the article: This pick may have some bias behind it.

In all reality, these two teams feel really equal to one another. I’m expecting both to make the playoffs, and I wouldn’t be shocked if one (or both) make a fairly long postseason run. Could either of these teams win the title? Absolutely. Are either the favorite to come out of the West? Nope.

So yeah, I’m going with Luka Doncic and Co. as more serious contenders than the Warriors. Sue me.