4 Teams the Dallas Mavericks shouldn’t want to see in the Play-In Tournament

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks
Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks have looked like an entirely different team since the trade deadline, as the Mavericks have finally found a defensive identity with the insertion of P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford into Dallas' starting lineup.

The Mavericks only have 11 games remaining this season, an unfortunate happenstance when you take into consideration that the Mavericks are just now starting to establish some continuity within their new rotation.

This begs the question of just how many wins this Mavericks team could've gotten if Gafford and Washington had been on the Mavericks since the start of the season, as the Mavericks are likely better than quite a few other teams in the NBA with better records than them because of Dallas' post-trade deadline improvement.

4 Teams the Dallas Mavericks shouldn’t want to see in the Play-In Tournament

Unfortunately, we'll never know that alternate reality, as the Mavericks are currently in the midst of a logjam in the Western Conference standings amongst seeds 6-10, as the Mavericks are desperately trying to avoid the Play-In Tournament. The Mavericks still may end up in the Play-In Tournament if their luck doesn't pan out for them in these last 11 contests, so they'll need to be weary of the potential opponents that they could face in the Play-In Tournament as we approach the end of the regular season.

With that being said, here are four teams the Dallas Mavericks shouldn’t want to see in the Play-In Tournament.

4. Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors may be 5.5 games back from the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference standings and may not have the greatest odds to face off against the Mavericks in a play-in scenario given they are currently the tenth seed, but that shouldn’t mean that the Mavericks should underestimate the Warriors if they play them in the Play-In Tournament.

The Warriors have dealt with a lot of adversity as an organization this season, from on and off the court issues, to the tragic death of assistant coach Dejan Milojevic. Those unfortunate events coupled with injuries keeping certain players in and out of the lineup for Golden State, have led to less-than-ideal basketball being played by the Warriors in the eyes of Golden State head coach Steve Kerr.

However, the Warriors are a top-notch organization that still maintains the core of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Draymond Green, so the Mavericks cannot take the Warriors for granted whatsoever should they matchup with them in a play-in game.

The Mavericks can impose their will on Golden State in the paint on offense because of Dallas’ size advantage, but the Warriors quick actions aren’t easy to counter on the other end, especially when you take into consideration the mismatches they could draw against Dallas’ bigs.

The Warriors have a great blend of veterans and versatile young players in their rotation, but they’ve proven more times than not that they simply haven’t played up to the level that Dallas has this season.

Dallas would likely be favorites to beat the Warriors in a play-in game simply because of the record disparity between the two squads, but Stephen Curry could vastly change the trajectory of those odds very quickly in any one-game scenario with his absurd shot-making, so Dallas is better off avoiding the Play-In Tournament in totality if they can.