The Dallas Mavericks are playoff bound for the 15th time in 16 years after a huge, exhilarating win over the Utah Jazz, beating them 101-92 on Monday. Although the Mavericks have clinched a playoff spot, their seeding is still up in the air. Here's the different scenarios, with Houston and Utah no longer factoring into the decision.
Fifth seed vs. Clippers
For the Mavericks to be fifth, their path is simple but completely out of their hands. They must beat the Spurs on Wednesday, the Trail Blazers must lose a home game to the Nuggets on Wednesday and the Grizzlies must lose at least one of their final two games, against the Clippers and Warriors (going for 73 wins). The Spurs will probably rest, but Portland is clearly favored.
Sixth seed vs. Thunder
The sixth seed against Oklahoma City is much more likely. If Portland wins, Dallas is eliminated from the fifth seed talk. Instead, they will need a win against the Spurs and one Memphis loss, or a loss and the Grizzlies losing out. Both scenarios are very possible, all things considered.
Seventh seed vs. Spurs
The seventh seed would only happen if Dallas lost to the Spurs while Memphis wins one of their final two games, or if the Grizzlies unexpectedly win both of their final games. If Memphis wins out, there's nothing Dallas can do -- that just seems incredibly unlikely.
The Mavericks will be one of those three seeds. Monday's win makes sure that the No. 8 seed will depend on whether the Rockets win or lose. (If the Rockets lose, the Jazz will need to win.)