By: Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – The Mavericks are locked in a tight race for the West’s final three playoff spots. With 15 games left to play, let’s take a look at the teams Dallas is up against, and the schedules each team faces to finish out the regular season.
PORTLAND (35-33): 6TH PLACE: 14 games remaining, .500+ 8, 8 Home, 6 Away (Against each other: @DAL, DAL)
HOUSTON (34-33) .5 gb: 7TH PLACE: 15 games remaining: .500+ 9, 8 Home, 7 Away (Against each other: UTAH, @DAL)
DALLAS (34-33) .5 gb: 8TH PLACE: 15 games remaining, .500+ 10, 6 Home, 9 Away (Against each other: POR, @POR, HOU, @UTAH)
UTAH (32-35) 2.0 gb: 9TH PLACE: 15 games remaining, .500+ 7, 7 Home, 8 Away (Against each other: @HOU, DAL)
How far can they move up: Dallas is most likely out of contention for the coveted fifth seed out west. However, the current sixth seed Memphis Grizzlies do have a depleted roster, and a murder’s row of difficult opponents in the season’s final games (home and home with LAC, SAS, GS). Memphis should ultimately hang onto that seed due to their 4 1/2 game lead, and with so few games left for another team to catch up.
Dallas has the most difficult remaining schedule of the four, as they have a road date with Cleveland, home games with Golden State and Portland followed by road games at Portland and Golden State. If the Mavericks can win three out of five, they should be well on their way to making the post-season for the 15th time out of the last 16 seasons.
But…Dallas also has a difficult task awaiting them in the season’s final five games (MEM, HOU, @LAC, @UTAH, SAS). If Dallas finds themselves in trouble heading into the season finale, they’ll be hoping Popovich is in the mood to give them a freebie.
As of right now, I see Dallas making the playoffs by a game over Houston, while the Rockets edge out the Jazz by a game or two.
Mavericks Prediction: 7th seed
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