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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1. Sacramento Kings

The Sacramento Kings are the most formidable foe that the Dallas Mavericks could potentially face in a play-in scenario. The Kings currently have a record of 42-29, as they are neck-and-neck with the Mavericks and Phoenix Suns in the race for the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Whilst the Kings haven’t been as dominant as last year, make no mistake that this team has the potential to cause the Mavericks issues in a win-or-go-home play-in scenario. De’Aaron Fox has been the subject of criticism from many analysts in the national media for his overall efficiency on offense taking a slight dip this year, but the 26-year-old guard is having arguably the best three-point shooting and defensive season of his career still.

When you take into consideration that the Mavericks point-of-attack defense has been spotty this season, the Kings’ elite guard play from Fox and Malik Monk could be troublesome for the Mavericks in a one-game scenario, especially if either of those players get hot from beyond the arc.

The biggest thing that the Mavericks have going for them in a play-in game versus Sacramento would be Dallas’ increased defensive prowess in their frontcourt, as the Mavericks would have a lot more strength and athleticism to throw at Domantas Sabonis compared to the two games that the Mavericks and Kings played earlier this season before the trade deadline.

It was also recently announced that Kevin Huerter will miss the rest of the 2023-24 season with a torn labrum, so the Kings wouldn’t be at full strength in a play-in game versus Dallas.

The Mavericks would still likely project as the favorite in a play-in game versus Sacramento, especially since the Mavericks would arguably have the two best players on the court in Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving in a matchup versus Sacramento.

The Mavericks and the Kings play two crucial back-to-back games this week, so that should give us a better understanding of how a potential play-in game between the two squads would fare.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks as they approach the playoffs, stay tuned as we’ll have you covered.