The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-90 on Friday night to push them closer to locking in the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The starters got some needed rest in the dominating victory. It also gave Luka Doncic and the Mavs the Southwest Division crown for the first time since 2010. It was a special night as they pushed their winning streak to three straight.
It is Dallas’ fourth division title in franchise history. They won the Midwest Division in 1987. The NBA switched to the current format in the 2004-2005 season after an expansion franchise was added to give them 30 teams. The Mavs earned Southwest crowns in 2007 and 2010.
It is amazing they only won two division titles in their run of 15 playoff appearances in 16 seasons. They did not win the division in 2011 when they won the NBA championship nor in 2006 when their season finished in the NBA Finals. What does winning the division mean for the Mavericks in 2021?
Dallas Mavericks win Southwest Division: What does it mean?
The Mavs did not set out to win the division at the start of the season, but the crown does hold some importance. It is the first tiebreaker in the event of a three-way tie in the standings. With the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers hot on Dallas’ heels for fifth in the Western Conference, winning the division could prove massive for the Mavericks.
No team wants to be part of the play-in tournament. The top six teams in each conference advance directly to the playoffs in 2021 with seven through ten going through the play-in. Seven faces eight with the winner taking the seventh seed. The loser faces the winner of the nine versus ten game for the final playoff position. The Mavs will be focused on avoiding it and finishing in the top six over their final five games.
It is the first NBA division crown for Luka Doncic, but he is far from done. The Dallas Mavericks are looking to take over the Southwest for the next decade-plus. No team has won the division more than four consecutive times since its inception in the 2004-2005 season. Luka and the Mavs are hoping to top that mark. Fans will not want to miss it, so stay tuned.