The Western Conference playoff seedings are getting a little clarity.
After a busy Wednesday, the Mavericks helped themselves, but also know now that they cannot finish any higher than 10th in the West.
If they can manufacture one more win than Oklahoma City in the final two games, they will finish 10th. If not, they will miss the top 10 in the West and the play-in tournament and the long offseason would commence.
Also, the Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State, LA Lakers, New Orleans and Minnesota all are assured of postseason spots, whether it be in the playoffs or fighting through the play-in tournament.
“They still believe they can get in,” coach Jason Kidd said of the Mavericks after their 123-119 win over Sacramento Wednesday. “We all understand what the situation is. We need a little help.
“But we have to take care of our business. And this was part of that process. We needed to win this game. There’s no room for error. We couldn’t lose this and hope that Oklahoma City loses two games. Now we just wait and watch and we still have to take care of business on Friday.”
That would be against Chicago, which can afford to relax as the Bulls are locked into the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. But first, they’ll be keeping an eye on OKC’s visit to Utah on Thursday night.
Here’s the updated race for spots four through 12 in the Western Conference, with games-behind and each team’s remaining schedule. Denver, Memphis and Sacramento have locked up the top three spots.