In the NBA bubble several months ago, Luka Doncic helped lead the Mavericks into the postseason for the first time in his career, however, Dallas fell in the first round in six games against the Los Angeles Clippers

Doncic, an off-season knee surgery, Kristaps Porzingis and the rest of the Mavericks aim to improve and take the next step towards the NBA title fight

Here’s a look at how media outlets across the country are projecting the Mavericks for the coming season:

“I’m a little surprised that the Mavericks didn’t rise in the projections after taking third place in the point difference in the West last season, Kristaps Porzingis’s health is a big reason he turns 44 for 44 Games predicts what seems reasonable given his uncertain return date after off-season knee surgery ”- Kevin Pelton

Mavs Prediction: The panel unanimously selected Mavs to win the Southwest Division The projected playoff seeds ranged from No. 3-7

Notable: Former Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson was the only panelist who picked the Mavericks to advance to the Western Conference finals, however, he dropped Dallas on defending champions Lakers

Mavs Prediction: Finish as No. 4 or 5 seeds; Both panelists picked Utah versus Dallas in the first round

“After [the Lakers, Clippers, and Nuggets] the west is wide open. Dallas, Utah, Portland, Golden State, and Houston could all be done in any order” – Kurt Helin

Mav’s Prediction: The panel picked Dallas somewhere from Nos 3-8 in the sowing; Nobody chose Dallas to make the conference finals

“The other team from LA is the biggest challenger on the throne, but the bet here is that if Tyronn Lue experiments with different strategies before the postseason, the nuggets will end before the Clippers. Luka Doncic’s individual brilliance is enough to get the Getting Mavericks into the top four ”- Jordan Greer

“A focus on defense and length should improve defense in Dallas, but looking ahead to the season it’s mostly a question of how that affects their offensive performance”With Luka Doncic there shouldn’t be much dropping, but whether playing a slightly better defense and a slightly worse offense will improve the total winnings is the overriding question in the 2020-21 season” – SB Nation

Mavs forecast (as of Dec 22): 75% chance of a playoff; 3% chance of winning the NBA title

Dallas Mavericks, Suns

World News – USA – National Predictions: Mavericks seem like a playoff ban, but how far will Dallas go?