Commentary

Mavericks now the West favorites

The numbers give Dallas a significant edge over both the Thunder and Grizzlies

Originally Published: May 8, 2011
By Austin Link | TeamRankings.com
Tyson Chandler & Jason KiddAndrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Mavericks are looking like an NBA Finals-caliber squad.

On Friday night, the Dallas Mavericks extended their series lead over the Los Angeles Lakers to 3-0 with an exhilarating come-from-behind victory.

Given that no team has won a seven-game NBA playoff series after being down 3-0, L.A.'s chances of coming back to knock out Dallas aren't good. It's possible, mind you, but based on the latest TeamRankings.com predictive power ratings, the Mavs now have about a 95 percent chance of closing out this series, and even that figure feels conservative given the issues the Lakers are having. At the start of this series, our simulations gave Dallas around a 5 percent chance for a sweep; those odds have now increased to 60 percent, with the Mavs favored to take care of business at home on Sunday.

If Dallas does indeed advance to the conference finals, they'll be the highest seed remaining, but there's even more statistical data backing up the fact that they're the most likely team to emerge from the West and advance to the NBA Finals. Here's a quick primer on the Mavs' two potential conference finals opponents, assuming Dirk Nowitzki and friends send the Lakers packing.


To read about why Dallas matches up well against both the Thunder and the Grizzlies, you must be an ESPN Insider.