Two more teams have punched their ticket to the second round of the playoffs.

It took longer than many expected, but the Suns defeated the Pelicans in six games to advance. Their next opponent? The Mavericks, who beat the Jazz in six games even with Luka Doncic not being available for the entire series.

Phoenix and Dallas met three times during the regular season. The Suns won each game by an average margin of 7.7 points, but they have yet to play the new-look Mavericks.

The Mavericks surprised many at this season’s trade deadline by dealing Kristaps Porzingis to the Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Since then, the Mavericks have become a different team closing the season with a 19-7 record to earn the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference.

Do the Mavericks have the firepower to upset the Suns? Here’s everything you need to know about the series.

MORE: Watch the NBA playoffs on Sling TV (U.S. only)

Devin-Booker-FTR

Key storyline: Devin Booker’s hamstring injury

For the second straight postseason, the Suns have been dealing with an injury to one of their stars.

In Game 2 of their first-round series with the Pelicans, the Suns lost Devin Booker to a right hamstring injury. It was later revealed to be a Grade 1 right hamstring strain, an injury that usually sidelines players for 14-21 days.

Despite not having Booker for half the series, the Suns managed to handle their business against the Pelicans.

In Game 3, both Chris Paul (28 points, 14 assists) and Deandre Ayton (28 points, 17 rebounds) stepped up to give the Suns a 2-1 series lead. They dropped Game 4, but another Paul double-double coupled with a postseason-high 31 points from Mikal Bridges helped them bounce back in Game 5, setting the stage for them to win Game 6 and secure a second-round matchup with the Mavericks.

This Mavericks team is no joke. Not only are they led by one of the league’s best players in Luka Doncic, who could earn another All-NBA First Team selection this season, but Jalen Brunson had a breakout series in the first round and head coach Jason Kidd has them defending at a level few teams can match. In holding opponents to 109.1 points per 100 possessions in the regular season, only six teams had a better defensive rating than Dallas.

The good news for the Suns is Booker returned for Game 6 against the Pelicans, scoring 13 points in 32 minutes of play.

The Suns had success without both Booker and Paul this season, but we’re reaching the point of the playoffs where they need their stars to be healthy. Otherwise, a team like the Mavericks is built to take advantage.

Suns vs. Mavericks series schedule

Check back once the Western Conference Semifinals schedule is released.

(All times Eastern)

Date Game Time
Mon, May. 2 Mavericks at Suns  10:00 p.m
Wed, May. 4 Mavericks at Suns 10:00 p.m
Fri, May. 6 Suns at Mavericks 9:30 p.m
Sun, May. 8 Suns at Mavericks TBD
Tue, May. 10 Mavericks at Suns* TBD
Thu, May. 12 Suns at Mavericks* TBD
Sun, May 15 Mavericks at Suns* TBD

*If necessary

Suns vs. Mavericks expert picks and predictions

Scott Rafferty: Suns in six games

Gilbert McGregor: Suns in six games

Kyle Irving: Suns in six games

Carlan Gay: Suns in seven games

Micah Adams: Mavericks in seven games

Ananth Pandian: Suns in six games

Nick Metallinos: Suns in six games

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