With a Dallas Mavericks first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers, many eyes will be on the Mavs. Ahead of the Mavericks-Clippers series, we'll be making our Mavericks first-round series predictions.

Dallas had an underwhelming first half of the season, but after the trade deadline additions, they surged up in the standings. The Mavs acquired PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford, both of whom have been impactful rotational players.

The Mavs had the star duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving but lacked talent around them. The defense and athleticism around these two stars in the starting lineup with Derrick Jones Jr., Washington, and Gafford have fit well.

Doncic will lead the way in this series. He averaged 33.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 9.8 assists and shot 48.7 percent from the floor and 38.2 percent from three in the regular season.

Doncic has faced the Clippers twice in the playoffs before. He has been phenomenal in those matchups but hasn't had enough talent around him. This time, Doncic will take them on with a co-star in Irving and depth around him.

Los Angeles will have to do it without their best player, Kawhi Leonard, in Game 1. Leonard is dealing with knee inflammation, and his timetable to return is unknown.

The Clippers will heavily rely on their other stars, Paul George and James Harden. They will also need big contributions from Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell.

With that in mind, let's move on to our Mavericks first-round predictions.

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Luka Doncic controls the game

Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the league and is excellent at controlling the pace. With his offensive mastery and no Leonard to start the series, he could control the game in this series.

Doncic is a very talented passer and scorer, making him a nightmare for opposing teams. Even with Leonard out, the Clippers have elite defenders to throw at Doncic. Paul George and Terance Mann will defend him at times, but it may not matter.

The Mavs star is a master at getting switches, which presents him with a favorable matchup in the half-court offense. Expect Doncic to target a switch so James Harden is put on him.

With Harden on Doncic, he could attack as a scorer or be a playmaker if the Clippers opt to double-team or trap. Doncic's ability to make the right read when presented with any defensive coverage is part of what makes him so special.

Mavericks' depth gives Clippers problems

Dallas has a ton of depth in their rotation, which will pose problems for the Clippers. When Kawhi Leonard is healthy, they have enough star power and a solid eight-man rotation. However, with him out, that could change the landscape of the series.

The Mavs have high-quality role players in Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dereck Lively II. They also have Dante Exum, Josh Green, and Maxi Kleber who can contribute to their rotation.

For the Clippers, Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell are great off the bench, but there hasn't been consistency outside of them. Amir Coffey, PJ Tucker, and Daniel Theis will likely be relied upon in this series, but how they will play is unknown. Tucker is an example, as he has been in and out of the rotation all season.

The depth Dallas has gives them an advantage in this series.

Mavericks win the series in six games

With Kawhi Leonard's uncertain availability for the series, the Mavericks should take care of business and move on to the second round. It won't be an easy series as the Clippers are talented, but Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, with depth around them, should be enough to move on.