Things are looking up for the Mavericks! At the time of last month's update, they'd just lost four in a row and were tied with the San Antonio Spurs for sixth seed. Now, the Spurs have been beaten up on their annual Rodeo Road Trip and Dallas has shaken off its slump to win six of their last 10, with one of those defeats coming during scheduled loss to Atlanta by the Mavs' b-team. This means the Mavericks have risen in the standings and are sitting pretty at...fifth. Man, the West is tough.
Dallas is 7.5 games back of the first seed, but tied in the win-loss columns with number four Portland. The two teams will meet next Thursday on what is fortunately the second night of a back-to-back for the Blazers, who have a tough game against the Clippers the night before. Here are the full standings:
Dallas trails number three Houston (by a game and a half) and number two Memphis (by five games) in the Southwest Division. Overtaking Memphis seems very unlikely, but catching up to the Rockets is still a possibility, though their best opportunity for home court advantage will be overtaking Portland.
Where would the Mavs be in the East?
Important Western Conference games this week
Aside from those we already mentioned, both the Warriors and the Rockets will take on tough Eastern Conference teams (the Raptors today and the Hawks on Tuesday, respectively), the Spurs will attempt to salvage what's left of their road trip against the Suns tomorrow, and the Grizzlies will play the Rockets on Wednesday.