Dallas Mavericks scenario 4: Mavs go 1-1, Blazers lose out
The scenarios start getting wild here. The Lakers have two straight days off before closing with the Pacers and Pelicans on Saturday and Sunday. Expect Los Angeles to be heavily favored in both games, assuming Anthony Davis and LeBron James are back in the lineup. If the Lakers win out they still need significant help to avoid the play-in.
The Mavericks split their two games. It is difficult to see them losing to the Raptors on Friday night. On Tuesday, Toronto played without Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and Rodney Hood. The Raptors are out of contention and have no incentive to bring those players back. Dallas must take care of business and lock their spot in the top six on Friday night.
If the Trail Blazers lose out, the Lakers avoid the play-in in this scenario. Portland faces the Suns and Nuggets. Both teams are ahead of Portland in the current standings.
Los Angeles escaping the play-in tournament would be a massive story, but it would set up a larger matchup against the LA Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. Dallas would face the Nuggets and the Blazers would have to win their way in.
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