Photo: Peter Baba

NBA insider Brian Windhorst believes that the Dallas Mavericks, led by Luka Doncic, pose the most significant threat to the defending champions Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference playoffs.

Windhorst highlighted Doncic’s maturity and defensive prowess as key factors contributing to the Mavericks’ potential.

“I think it’s Dallas just because of maturity of Luka Doncic,” the insider said on ESPN’s Get Up. “This was probably the best defensive game he’s played his career. The Clippers shot 2-of-17. I will say this again – the Clippers shot 2-of-17 with Luka as the primary defender. This guy has been a defensive whole most of his career. He’s getting it done on both ends.

“Plus the Clippers were throwing double teams at him. He just handled it. He knows where to go with the ball. He’s got teammates. who can stretch the floor. Kyrie Irving with under control performance. A very second stage mature performance by Luka. This is a warning sign to the rest of the league that he is developing like this.”

Windhorst’s assessment of the Mavericks’ threat level comes in the wake of their impressive performance in Game 2 against the Los Angeles Clippers, where they secured a thrilling 96-93 victory to level the first-round playoff series.

Doncic’s leadership was on full display as he led the Mavericks with 32 points, supported by a solid performance from Kyrie Irving, who contributed 23 points to the team’s success.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets currently hold a comfortable 2-0 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in their playoff series.