The Mavericks were eliminated from the knockout stage of the In-Season Tournament before Tuesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets, but the NBA announced what games teams are playing that missed out after the bracket was finalized when Tuesday’s games completed.
Since In-Season Tournament games are being counted as regular season games, all the teams eliminated would need to have those regular season games scheduled. For the Mavericks, that means their holes in the schedule have been filled with two matchups: at home against the Utah Jazz on Dec. 6 and on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Dec. 8.
This is actually a pretty nice win for the Mavericks. Both the Jazz and Trail Blazers are lottery teams, with Utah currently 6-11 and Portland 5-12. While nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, with the way the Mavericks are preforming against subpar squads this season, you’d have to feel confident about their chances to go 2-0. Did the Mavericks purposefully tank their In-Season Tournament group play so they’d have easier games in December? The world will never know the truth.