It’s official, the Mavs are now looking in their rear-view mirror. Because after last night’s blowout loss in Oakland, moving up in the Western Conference standings just feels unrealistic.
The Mavs are desperately hoping to finish in 6th place, which would mean a first-round series against the Clippers, Rockets or Blazers. But in 6th place are the Warriors, and Dallas had a chance Tuesday night to send a message and make up ground on Golden State.
The Warriors dominated from the start in a 23-point win. The Mavs shot a season-low 36 percent. Jose Calderon committed a season-high six turnovers. Dirk Nowitzki had his second straight horrible shooting game. Devin Harris strained his Achilles. And, yep, the dream of 6th place all but dissolved.
The Mavs now trail Golden State by three games with only 17 remaining. Their immediate concern is now the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies, as – along with the Mavs – two of those three will grab the final playoff spots and one will be left out.
“It’s going to be a beast just to get in,” Dirk told reporters after the loss. “But we’ve got to take care of what we can control, which is to play hard and win as many games as we can.”
Added head coach Rick Carlisle in Oakland, “As far as the playoff seeding, that’s a distraction from the task at hand, which is making sure we’re as right as we can be.”
Because of last night’s ugly loss, the Mavs’ future looks thusly: Tonight they’re in Utah, clinging to 8th place.
And if they squeak into the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed, it means a first-round series against the Spurs or Thunder. Dallas has lost eight straight games to San Antonio, and 11 consecutive to Oklahoma City.
So, yeah, the loss to the Warriors was as significant as it was stinky.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.