If the Mavericks are looking for a playoff birth, it begins with a string of tough home games, beginning with the best team in the league.
It’s put up or shut up time for the Dallas Mavericks. That is, if the playoffs are in the plans. And that’s a BIG ‘if’.
The Mavericks are in a unique position at this point in the season. They could either play well enough for a priority pick in the upcoming draft or they could play hard enough for a playoff spot. Expecting the latter, the Dallas Mavericks must start the push with a test from the Golden State Warriors.
Coming off a win against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, they are still licking their wounds from the embarrassing game in Philadelphia. They’re hoping this homestead will turn a page for them as the season comes to a close.
“What’s going to cure last night (Philly) is an elevated sense of pride,” explained head coach Rick Carlisle after the loss.
After losing to Philadelphia, the Mavericks seemed to turn around against the Nets. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 23 points, as Harrison Barnes helped with 19 points. The story of the game was a surging J.J. Barea, sparking a comeback in the 4th quarter and providing 20 points and 7 assists.
And, to the Mavs faithful, it’s a gratifying win to see. But this 4 game home stretch will be a testament to what the Mavericks plan on doing in the near future.
The Golden State Warriors come into Dallas sizzling hot from a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Klay Thompson and Steph Curry combined for 57 points with 14 3-pointers to hush a loud crowd who’s recent Kevin Durant treatment hasn’t gone too well with the players. And Steph isn’t looking to give Seth any lead way.
Golden State sits at the top of the league. Already clinching the Pacific Division, they only sit 2.5 games ahead of the San Antonio Spurs as the best team in the Western Conference. Conversely, the Dallas Mavericks sit 2.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets for the 8th seed.
The Dallas Mavericks know they will have a test tonight against the Golden State Warriors. The road won’t get easier as they battle the Los Angeles Clippers, Toronto Raptors, and Oklahoma City Thunder in a week span.
And we can’t forget about the obstacle that is the Portland Trail Blazers.
To be optimistic, it’s a win-win situation for the Mavericks. You can either have a draft pick to add to the future core you’ve established, or you push to see how far you can run in the playoffs. And not saying the Mavericks couldn’t go all the way, but realistically the chances are slim.
But, that was the same mindset they had for the 2011 championship team.
The Dallas Mavericks host the Golden State Warriors at 7:30 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Let’s go, Mavs!