5 Most crucial games left for the Dallas Mavericks this season

Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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1. April 14 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder

There are a lot of variables in play given this is the last game of the regular season for both the Thunder and the Mavericks. This game could end up being a throw-away for one of the two teams or even both of them depending on how things are looking in the Western Conference standings leading up to the game.

As tight as things are right now though, both the Thunder and Mavericks would be doing everything they can to secure a victory in this game if the playoffs started today, as the Thunder are only one game behind the Minnesota Timberwolves for the first seed in the West. The Mavericks are currently 1-1 against the Thunder this season, and this game will be the fourth and final matchup of the season between the two squads.

This game also could serve as a precursor to a potential first round playoff series between the Mavericks and Thunder, as it's very possible that Dallas could match up with Oklahoma City if they land at either the seventh or eighth seed. The Thunder have a budding young core led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren, and they have tons of depth on both sides of the ball.

The Mavericks blew the Thunder out last time the two teams played, but they can't make the mistake of underestimating the Thunder the next two times these teams play. It seems likely the Mavericks may encounter their I-35 counterparts in Oklahoma City at some point in the playoffs if they wish to make a long playoff run regardless of whether it's in the first round or later rounds, so this April 14 game will be crucial for Dallas heading into the playoffs.

Unless Dallas and Oklahoma City punt on this game due to having clinched a certain playoff seed, expect this game to be extremely uber-competitive from both sides, as the Mavericks and Thunder will want to carry on momentum into the playoffs in their last reglar season game at the very least.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks ahead of the playoffs, make sure to check back with us as we'll have you covered.