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NBA playoff picture: 3 scenarios explaining who the Mavericks' opponent will be

The Mavericks' first round playoff foe will be determined on the season's final day. Here's a breakdown.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Last Saturday, we broke down the scenarios that would be required for the four teams still in play for the No. 2 seed to clinch that spot and a first round playoff series against Dallas, who is locked into the No. 7 seed. After a wild weekend (plus Monday) of games, we're down to just three opponents -- the Memphis Grizzlies have been eliminated from that possibility.

Going team by team, this is exactly how each of the three remaining teams could align themselves for a Dallas convergence of basketball proportions.

San Antonio Spurs

This one's simple: they beat the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday. But it's also very complicated: Anthony Davis and his 14 minions may have to win to take the No. 8 seed from the medical ward that is Oklahoma City, and if there's any of the 29 teams I'd pick to pull a shocking upset of the Spurs on the season's final game, the Louisiana birds of prey would be high on my list.

Still, this is an easier route than any other and the Spurs hold their destiny in their weathered hands, as they have hundreds of times before. The Pelicans are newborns to this type of win-or-take-the-long-road-home situation.

If the Spurs loss, they would require a Rockets, Grizzlies and Clippers loss to still clinch the No. 2 seed.

Houston Rockets

They must beat the Jazz at home on Wednesday, which puts them at 56 wins. If the Spurs do miraculously fall on Wednesday, the Rockets take the Southwest Division with a better record by a game.

Los Angeles Clippers

With a win on Tuesday, the Clippers could suddenly find themselves behind only Golden State in the mighty Western Conference -- and the third best team in the NBA! What it would take is San Antonio and Houston losses, because the Clippers must finish with a record better than the Southwest Division champion, a tiebreaker that supersedes all the rest.

Both Los Angeles' and Houston's two-seed hopes are finished with a loss on Tuesday or Wednesday, respectively.