It's still not determined which team the Mavericks will face in the first round of this years playoffs, but the regular season comes to a close and the Champs have a few off days until they face the Atlanta Hawks for their final game. The analysts handed out their last Power Rankings for the regular season. Here's your overview:
Odd scheduling quirk at the end of the regular season: Mavs, who last played Saturday, have four days off before finishing against Atlanta on Thursday.
The champs are healthy, rested (with four days off before Thursday's finale in Atlanta) and finally putting some points on the board. Their improved offense got shut down in Chicago on Saturday, but that was without Jasons Kidd and Terry. And there are no elite defensive teams like that in the West.
No team will go into the playoffs more rested than these guys, who play only one game this week. If they win it, they get the sixth seed and a likely rematch with the Lakers, who they swept last season but were swept by this season. I am not a big believer in their chances of getting out of first round. Haven’t beaten quality opponent since April 4 against Memphis.
Kurt Helin - PBT: 13th
They still have Dirk Nowitzki, they have been playing their best basketball of late, but nobody thinks they are a threat and may not even get out of the first round. Hey, didn’t people think that last year, too.
This is truly the first time an NBA champion can play the disrespect card. Everyone wants to face thein the West bracket, not because teams don't fear Dallas, but because teams fear everyone else even more.
Marc Stein - ESPN: 13th
Good news: Dallas got a big schedule break that'll net a week off for J-Kidd, who usually benefits hugely from an on-the-fly chance to recharge. The bad news for the reigning champs: Finishing No. 7 and facing OKC in Round 1 looks like the best option, matchup-wise, compared to opening with the Spurs or Lakers.
MavsMoneyball - j0Shi's Schedule Adjusted Efficiencies: 15th