In most ways, Friday was not good for the Mavericks. They went to double overtime in what was supposed to be a rest game. San Antonio beat the Rockets, making a Houston-Dallas first round series incredibly unlikely. The Jazz came so, so close to beating Memphis, but fell short when Gordon Hayward missed a potentially game-tying free throw.
The Mavericks are locked into the No. 7 seed. Here's the exact scenarios needed for each team to be second in the West and face them in the first round.
The Grizzlies are currently the No. 2 seed in the West and sit in the driver's seat of the playoff picture for the NBA's final week. If they beat the Clippers, Warriors and Pacers to finish their season, they are the No. 2 seed.
In fact, even if they lose one game, the two-seed will still belong to Memphis.* They have one fewer loss than the Spurs, Clippers and Rockets while holding tiebreakers against all three. (Tiebreakers: Spurs by conference record, Rockets by division record, Clippers by Southwest Division championship.)
*Unless, of course, it's a three-team tie between the Grizzlies, Spurs and Rockets. The tiebreaker is head-to-head among those three teams and San Antonio has the edge, going 5-3 combined against those two teams while Memphis is 4-4 and Houston is 3-5. It would work the same way if it's a four-way tie with the Clippers, since the division winner tiebreaker would take place first. It would not work if the Clippers, Grizzlies and one of the Spurs or Rockets finished in a three-way tiebreaker.
If Memphis loses two games, they'd need a lot of losses and nobody to blame but themselves.
San Antonio Spurs
If the three-team tiebreaker detailed above doesn't happen, the Spurs' chances for the No. 2 seed are hinged on Memphis losing twice. If San Antonio wins out and Memphis loses only once, San Antonio loses the tiebreak by virtue of conference record.
If Memphis does lose twice, San Antonio holds the tiebreaker (3-1 head-to-head record) over the Rockets. They do not hold the tiebreaker over the Clippers, but if San Antonio does pass Memphis, they will be the Southwest Division champion, which is an automatic tiebreaker over Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers cannot tie the Southwest Division champ, because that's an automatic tiebreaker that goes against them. To take the No. 2 seed, Los Angeles needs to win out while Memphis loses twice, San Antonio loses once and Houston loses once.
The Clippers can give Memphis one of those loses with a win on Saturday, but they have no control over the other three and the season is quickly running short.
If you thought they were done after back-to-back losses to the Spurs, well, no. Let's call it a shoddy burial job with an outside chance of digging themselves out before the season runs out of oxygen. If the Rockets win their final three games, they just need two Memphis losses and one slip up from San Antonio. They don't hold tiebreakers over either so that's the only scenario in which they could finish with a better record, taking the Southwest title and an automatic tiebreaker over the Clippers.
Whew. Did you follow all that? Basically, the odds are heavily in the favor of Memphis or possibly San Antonio in that three-team tiebreak scenario. Here's a look at the complete standings as they stand on April 11: