The Dallas Mavericks have played 44 of 72 regular-season games in this shortened 2020-2021 season. It might be a little premature to predict playoff matchups. Okay, maybe it’s more than premature. Hopefully, it’s not a bad jinx.
The Mavs currently sit eighth in the Western Conference. It is not a comfortable spot to reserve a slot in the postseason, but this season is one unlike any other. Each conference will technically have ten playoff teams with the bottom four seeds in each side of the bracket engaging in a play-in tournament.
Dallas has certainly looked the part of a playoff team lately. If they keep playing the way they have been since becoming fully healthy, the Mavericks should be a lock to at least grab a play-in opportunity. They have gone 15-9 since the start of February. Aside from the drastically improved play, factors outside of the team also suggest that the Mavs have a strong chance to be competing in the postseason.
Why Dallas Mavericks should grab a spot in the 2021 playoffs
For one, the Mavs’ schedule is significantly easier in the remainder of the season. With 30 games left to play, they have the easiest slate in the league based on current team records.
On top of that, the four teams directly below Dallas in the standings have to face notably more difficult opponents. The Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and Sacramento Kings all currently rank in the top half of the league in remaining strength of schedule, while the Golden State Warriors have already gone through their gauntlet and sit at 28th.
Dallas also added veteran sharpshooter, JJ Reddick, to the roster before the trade deadline. Having the former Duke Blue Devil on the flanks finding open 3-pointers will only help the Mavs return to their historic offensive pace from last year.
One other factor that could play a huge role in the construction of the playoff bracket is LeBron James’ ankle injury. In the Lakers March 20th matchup against the Hawks, James went down with a high ankle sprain. The typical timeline for similar injuries is set at approximately four to six weeks. Paired with Anthony Davis’ injury, the currently fourth-seed Lakers could take a steep dive in the standings with both of their All-NBA talents shelved for the foreseeable future.
Ultimately, the Dallas Mavericks future remains in the hands of Luka Doncic and his supporting cast. Here is a realistic and dream scenario for how their postseason could play out.
Next: First round