The Dallas Mavericks’ Ideal Playoff Match-up


Is there a specific opponent the Dallas Mavericks would like to face in the NBA Playoffs this year? We will look at that question in Part 1 of “Five Mavs Questions in Five Days”

As the Dallas Mavericks coming limping into the playoffs it’s time to start asking the tough questions. Today we ask, ‘who is the ideal opponent for the Dallas Mavericks?’

The Mavericks are currently residing safely in the 7th spot of the Western Conference standings. While it is still mathematically possible for that seed to change, it’s highly unlikely given only five games remain, and the Mavs have a moderately conformable cushion on both sides of their standing.

As the situation looks now, the two most secure playoff spots are the #1 seed Golden State Warriors and the #7 Dallas Mavericks. 2 through 6 are still up for grabs, as is the final 8th spot. The Mavericks could see number of different opponents ranging from Houston, Memphis, Portland, LA Clippers, and San Antonio.

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My true ideal matchup is actually the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers are beat up and likely coasting the final games of the season. They have their division locked up, as well as their seeding. They will probably be heading into the playoffs a bit rusty as result. Sadly, a match-up with them just isn’t going to happen, given the structure of playoff seedings. So we look on…

The harsh reality is the Dallas Mavericks don’t really have an optimal opponent. The Mavs don’t have a winning record against anyone, so it really comes down to picking the lesser of evils. The lesser of evils here is probably the San Antonio Spurs. Unfortunately that also presents its own issues…

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Dallas holds a 2-2 record against San Antonio this season. Considering their struggles beating quality opponents this season, 2-2 is pretty darn good. Last season the Dallas Mavericks met the in-state rival Spurs in the first round. The series turned out to be much better than expected, and the Mavs gave the Spurs their biggest challenge of the postseason as the Spurs went on to collect yet another championship.

The problem with the #6 Spurs is they have the biggest hill to climb if they hope to grab the #2 seed and subsequently get a 1st round matchup against the Mavs. The Spurs face the #2 Rockets twice this season. If the Spurs win both, and the #3 Grizzlies drop a couple winnable games, the Spurs could claim the Southwest and hold the #2 seed.

"This would require the Spurs to hit a hot streak, and something the Mavericks do not want to see in the first round– is team on a hot streak."

The Mavs don’t particularly match-up well against anyone, but have proven they can hang with the Spurs. Perhaps the Spurs would exhale after making a playoff push up the standings, and allow the Mavs to steal Game 1. But then again, perhaps not.

Next: Chandler Parsons - Worth It

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