Things are beginning to solidify in the bottom half of the Western Conference playoff picture. With the Mavericks' 135-131 win over Oklahoma City on Wednesday night, Dallas now sits squarely in the No. 7 seed in the West, three games behind San Antonio and four games ahead of the Thunder. Dallas' next contest, however, could help begin to shape things in the top half of the standings.
Houston comes to town Thursday night as as the 3-seed in the West, but with an identical record as the 2-seed Memphis Grizzlies (51-24). The Grizzlies hold the tiebreaker with Houston thanks to a better division record (8-7 vs. 6-6). However, with a win Thursday the Rockets could temporarily jump Memphis and regain the 2-seed.
However if the Mavericks win, they're one step closer to facing the Grizzlies in the first round. Dallas is 1-3 vs. Memphis, and 1-2 against the Rockets, this season.
Current playoff opponent: Memphis Grizzlies
Games back of San Antonio: 3
Games ahead of Oklahoma City: 4
One upcoming conference game to watch: On Friday, Memphis plays Oklahoma City
And for fun, where the Mavericks would be in the East: No. 3 seed, 0.5 games ahead of the Raptors and Bulls, slated to face the Bucks in the first round.
Here's a look at the complete standings: