Plain and simple, the Mavs can still somehow pass the Jazz in the fight to avoid those Lakers in round 1. I don't know if I like the Mavericks chances against the Denver Nuggets, but I know I hate their chances against the Lakers.
If there is one thing we have learned, it is the Mavericks are pretty salty at home (28-9); And, if there is another thing we are learning, it is the Jazz are awful on the road (15-23). The Jazz have remaining road games against the Spurs and Lakers, too. Basically, it is not a stretch to consider the Jazz will finish 2-3 in their final 5 if the Mavs take care of their business tonight. And if that happens, I could see a 4-1 finish in Dallas and a realistic passing of the Jazz into the #7 spot.
The Jazz, according to my research, are 2-12 all time in the AAC, and 1-5 since the great Deron Williams has joined them. I put him in that group of "Elite Point Guards Jason Kidd cannot guard". To prove it, he has 81 points in 3 starts against Kidd this season, and 34 assists to go with it. Holy Cow. Productive to say the least with 27 PPG and 11.3 APG. Kidd counters with 32 assists of his own, but only 25 points in those 3 games on 7 for 26 shooting.
Carlos Boozer, by the way, will be playing his first game of the year against Dallas, and while he is rebounding like himself since returning from injury, his scoring touch has not returned at all.
Let's Update the NBA Run-In:
Since last we checked, this entire bottom half is getting easier and easier to figure out now. All 4 spots are one game apart. In fact, Portland is right on the tail of Houston for the #4 seed as well.
Portland is one game up on New Orleans. New Orleans is one game up on Utah. And Utah is one game up on Dallas.
And each team has 5 games to play.
And, just to remind you, the Mavs only have a tie breaker on Portland, who they trail by 3 games. Ties with the Hornets or the Jazz do not help the Mavs at all. They must beat those teams outright.
|4/8||@ DAL||@ SAS||PHX||UTA|
|4/10||@ SAS||LAK||@ DAL||NO|
Look at April 14. If I am not mistaken, the Los Angeles Lakers may have a say in this. They host the Jazz that night, and quite possibly, will control the fate of the #7 vs #8 seed race. If they beat the Jazz, they will play the Jazz; But if they roll over for the Jazz, then they get the Mavs. Hmmm. Very interesting things to ponder, but it all rests on the Mavs minding their own business right here, right now.
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