The current state of the NBA’s Western Conference standings is intensifying with the regular season winding down to what should be a thrilling conclusion.
With approximately 20 games left to play, teams continue shifting around in the standings with each passing night, setting the stage for an unpredictable finish. That leaves fans thinking of hypothetical first-round matchups in the conference, and given the current outlook on the standings, there are several that could be fascinating.
As the standings begin to take shape over the next month or so, here are three potential first-round matchups we as fans want to see in the Western Conference Playoffs this season.
Western Conference NBA Playoff matchups — Phoenix Suns versus Dallas Mavericks
The Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks are potentially the likeliest of the teams on this list to meet up in the first round, and it would be a thrilling seven-game set.
After missing the playoffs last season, Phoenix went all-in to acquire veteran floor general Chris Paul this past offseason, and his presence has elevated the franchise to heights they have not been at in over a decade. Pairing him alongside Devin Booker has turned things around entirely, as the Suns have asserted themselves at second place in the standings by holding a 38-15 record.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks were plagued by a slow start this season, looking like they might miss the postseason entirely. However, they have since rebounded and currently sit at seventh place in the conference with a 29-24 overall record thanks to some all-around rejuvenating play.
If the Mavericks were to handle their business in the NBA’s new play-in tournament format, they would play the Suns in the first round if the playoffs started today. This would be a heavyweight matchup headlined by a pair of young stars in Luka Doncic and Devin Booker. These two have been having fantastic seasons, and seeing these two All-Stars battle it out head to head in a seven-game series would be must-see television.