Dallas Mavericks Prioritizing: Playoff seeding or KP’s health?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s crunch time for the Dallas Mavericks. With only eight games left to play in the regular season and in a tie with Portland for 6th in the West, the Mavs need to balance rest with winning games.

Ideally the Dallas Mavericks would enter the postseason rested and healthy. The had neither of those last year and despite valiant efforts from Luka Doncic, they couldn’t advance beyond the first round. The biggest issue in that Clippers series was the status of Kristaps Porzingis.

The Dallas Mavericks must strike a balance between KP’s health and their playoff seeding

KP fell to injury early in the series and never returned. The injury eventually led to offseason knee surgery.

It’s safe to say, if the Dallas Mavericks hope to improve on last year’s results, they’re going to need KP on the floor this time around. Unfortunately, that’s far from a sure things.

After exiting last week with pain in that same knee from last year, KP’s status going forward is again uncertain. With the Playoffs roughly two weeks away (between May 18-22), it’s time for the Dallas Mavericks to set some priorities.

Clearly they want to do anything within their power to make sure Kristaps Porzingis is ready to go in the playoffs, but can they afford to sacrifice games down the stretch? The race for seeding is so tight, it’s possible the seventh seed and the fifth seed will only be determined by one game.

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In most years that’s not a big deal. Both seeds require playing on the road and both are against higher ranked teams. But this isn’t “most years”. In 2021 the NBA instituted a play-in tournament. The play-in tournament is great for the 9th and 10th seed but requires and extra step for the 7th and 8th seed.

In this set up the 7th seed plays the 8th seed for the right to advance to the real playoffs. The loser will have to face the winner of the 9th and 10th seed matchup. It’s extra games and less rest entering the playoffs – exactly the time you want less games and more rest. That’s why it’s imperative the Mavs avoid that ugly 7th seed at all costs.

But what if the cost is KP’s recovery time?

This is where priorities (and likely balance) come into play. The Dallas Mavericks would have to decide how much recovery time for KP and how much rest for Luka Doncic they need. The best rest and recovery, after all, is by avoiding the play-in tournament all together.

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What do you think the Mavs should do down the stretch with KP?