The Dallas Mavericks are locked in a tight race in the Western Conference that stretches from fifth to 12th. The gap is only 3.5 games between those eight teams, and the stakes are massive. Two will qualify for the playoffs directly. Four will take part in the Play-In Tournament, and two will miss the postseason entirely.
The Mavericks picked up a massive win over the Lakers on Friday night to vault them back into the top six. This week they face the Golden State Warriors in Dallas in one of the biggest games of the season. The winner will be in the driver’s seat to finish in the top six, and the loser is likely headed for the Play-In.
The Dallas Mavericks play four times, and every game is important. They have just 11 remaining in the regular season and a playoff berth is on the line. Here is a look at the four games ranked from most to least winnable.
Mavericks schedule lookahead: Ranking this week's games from most to least winnable
Must win: Charlotte Hornets at Dallas Mavericks
When: Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. CT
The Charlotte Hornets visit the American Airlines Center on Friday night. They have lost four straight and are already eliminated from playoff contention. Terry Rozier, Gordon Hayward, and P.J. Washington make them dangerous, but this should be an easy win for the Mavericks as Charlotte looks to improve their lottery odds.
Must win: Dallas Mavericks at Charlotte Hornets
When: Sunday, March 26 at 12:00 p.m. CT
This is the first night of a back-to-back on the road in Charlotte. The Hornets are just 11-24 at home this season, so Dallas should again take care of business fairly easily. It will be primetime game in Europe, which means Luka Doncic will have a bit of extra juice as he can put on a show for his country.
Toss-up: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks
When: Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. CT
Golden State is just 7-29 away from home this season, but they need this game. The season series is tied at one game apiece, so the winner grabs an important tiebreaker on top of a game in the standings. Expect Stephen Curry and company to be locked in at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday night in a cannot miss contest.
Slight underdog: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
When: Monday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. CT
The Mavericks lost to the Grizzlies twice last week as both teams were shorthanded. Kyrie Irving is already back for Dallas, and Luka Doncic hopes to return on Monday night. Memphis will be without Ja Morant, but they will still likely be slight favorites heading into this contest.
The Grizzlies have a strong defense, and they are fighting for second in the West. Expect whoever plays to be locked in as both teams fight for a crucial win.
The Dallas Mavericks could go 4-0 this week with health and a bit of luck. Each game is massive as they attempt to stay in the top six and reach the postseason, so do not miss a second.