The Mavs need to win in Oklahoma City Wednesday night to cement their 7th-place finish in the NBA’s Western Conference.
But, let’s be honest, more than that they need Monta Ellis to get healthy.
It looks like the latter will happen, as the shooting guard plans to play against the Thunder after missing one game with a calf injury.
The Mavs own a three-game lead over OKC for 7th place, with only eight games remaining. A win tonight would make it almost impossible for Dallas to fall to 8th. But a loss tonight and … the remaining two weeks of the regular season will be much more stressful than hoped.
There will be a playoff atmosphere in Oklahoma tonight as the Thunder – despite playing most of the season without reigning MVP Kevin Durant – try to catch the Mavs and avoid playing No. 1-seed Golden State in the first round of the playoffs.
The Mavs would be smart to prioritize Ellis’ long-term health over tonight’s short-term rewards. They can still make the playoffs without Ellis. But they won’t win a series without him.
If he plays tonight, he’d better be 100-percent healthy.
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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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.