If the Phoenix Suns’ first-round series against the New Orleans Pelicans was a heavyweight bout, the second-round matchup with the Dallas Mavericks will be a track meet. It’s time to get into some predictions for the Suns’ second-round series against the Mavs.

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The Pelicans series was as unpredictable as it gets. Between the Chris Paul fourth-quarter heroics and perfect game, the Brandon Ingram performances and the Devin Booker injury, these two teams delivered a wild first-round series that was one of the best of the 2022 NBA Playoffs thus far.

Don’t expect the theatrics to end there. The show’s just starting, so get ready for the Suns and Mavs to engage in an epic battle.

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Suns predictions vs. Mavs

1. Devin Booker finally earns his playoff 50-piece

Devin Booker’s playoff debut in 2020-2021 was a spectacle. He averaged 27.3 points per game across his 22 outings, including four 40-point performances. But he never quite reached 50-burger status. He had 47 in the Round 1 closeout game against the Los Angeles Lakers, but that was the closest he got.

That changes soon. Assuming Booker’s health remains intact, he’ll have a 50-point game against Dallas.

The Mavericks’ offensive attack mostly runs through one player. Luka Doncic is one of those players who fits into the old Dan Patrick adage: You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.

Mikal Bridges has contained Doncic before, but let’s be real: Doncic will wreak havoc on the Suns regardless.

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On the other side, Dallas has a much-improved defense this season, but Booker will still get the job done. Mano y mano shootouts between two of the NBA’s brightest young stars are inevitable.

There will be at least one game in which Booker reaches the half-century mark simply out of necessity. Doncic will have high averages throughout, and there will be a game or two where the Suns need a high output from their 25-year-old superstar. Don’t be shocked if the two combine for 90+ at some point in the series.

2. This series will be shorter than the Pelicans series

It’s not a controversial statement to say the Mavericks are a better team that the Pelicans. But this series won’t go to six games like the last one did.

Basketball is a game of matchups, and Dallas simply doesn’t match up well with Phoenix. Doncic is good enough on his own to steal a game from the Suns, but the frontcourt and wing mismatch is too much for the Mavericks to overcome. Ayton won’t have the rebounding issues that he had against Jonas Valanciunas and the Pelicans.

If the Suns’ wings improve their shooting, which obviously was a struggle in Round 1, this series can be over as quickly as five games.

3. The Twin Towers look is permanent

The Suns experimented with a Deandre Ayton-Javale McGee rotation early in the New Orleans series, but abandoned the look when shooting was needed.

This series will be about exploiting the big-man advantage Phoenix has over Dallas, and the two bigs are going to get their minutes together.

Expect plenty of Twin Towers sets in this series. Dallas doesn’t have a 7-footer in the regular rotation. The 6-foot-7 Doncic was the team’s leading rebounder at 9.1 per game. The runner-up? Kristaps Porzingis, who was shipped out to the Washington Wizards before the trade deadline.

Using a lineup of Paul-Booker-Bridges-Ayton-McGee, the Suns can control the boards and use their trademark dual pick-and-roll action. That rotation will see plenty of time in the four or five games this series brings to the table.