The Dallas Mavericks are locked in a tight playoff race entering the final weekend of the 2020-2021 regular season. Luka Doncic has led the team to 11 wins in their last 14 games to control their destiny for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles are both within one game as only two of those three teams advance directly to the playoffs this year.
Teams seven through ten in each conference are part of the expanded play-in tournament. The Mavs have been fighting hard to avoid it. Get all the specifics of how the play-in works here.
Dallas needs just one win in their final two games to clinch a spot in the top six. They will be in the postseason for the second straight year, but the Mavericks have their sights set on making a run in 2021. Let us take a look at what they need to do to accomplish that goal.
Things that will dictate the Dallas Mavericks playoff success
First, the Mavs must stay healthy. Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber just returned from multiple game absences. Trade deadline acquisition J.J. Redick will miss the rest of the regular season with a heel injury, but the veteran could return in the postseason.
Luka Doncic will keep the offense rolling, but Dallas must play stout defense. They rank 17th in defensive rating on the season, but the Mavs jumped to sixth over their last 42 games. Stepping up on that end of the floor is key.
Dallas needs these five players to shine in their roles to make a deep run. Here is a look at the men that will dictate the team’s success.
Next: No. 5