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2 things to watch as the Mavericks play “tank tug-of-war” with the Magic in Orlando

With only four games remaining, the Mavs have a very important game against the Magic tonight — when it comes to potential draft positioning.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone take a deep breath — now release and relax. The Dallas Mavericks’ painful 2017-2018 campaign is almost over, as there are only four game left in the season. The Mavs’ opponent tonight is the Orlando Magic, a team that is very close to them in the “race to the bottom” standings right now. Even when the season ends, nothing will be set in stone, being that anything can happen in the NBA Draft Lottery. Regardless, the better odds you finish with, the better chances you have of potentially getting a higher pick. I hate to say the Mavs need to lose, but it is what it is at this point. Let’s go big or go home.

Here’s two things to watch for tonight.

Prepare your eyes for horrendous basketball

Tonight, both teams will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavs played the Portland Trail Blazers last night, while the Magic took on the New York Knicks (and kicked the crap out of them). What this likely means, is that both teams will have an excuse to rest a lot of their best players. With potential draft positioning in play, this one could be very ugly from start to finish.

The Mavs will still probably come out of this game with a win, depending on who all plays, but still, you have to hope Adam Silver isn’t paying close attention tonight. We all know how he feels tanking, even though he’s somehow failed to give any warnings to the Phoenix Suns or Memphis Grizzlies.

This game should be a good opportunity for the end-of-the-bench guys

Assuming the Mavs rest a lot of their players, or at least restrict their minutes, some of the guys on the end of the roster should get another opportunity to show what they’ve got. Players like Johnathan Motley, Aaron Harrison, Jalen Jones and Kyle Collinsworth should all get some good burn tonight. Motley is the safest of those four to stick around for next season, considering he’s on a two-way contract. Nothing is guaranteed for the others, however, and tonight will be a chance for them to make a statement to the front office for why they should be here again next year.

How to watch

The Mavs and Magic will tipoff at 6:00 p.m. central time. The game can be watched on TXA21 and NBA League Pass.