The Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz and Dallas Mavericks are making the last month of basketball very entertaining. Check out where they lie in the standings and who they face as the season comes to a close. Though the Mavericks are in 10th place and more distant from the final playoff spot, find out why they are more favorable to enter the postseason as there are just 11 games remaining for all three teams.
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The Lakers are currently the team in the playoffs between the three franchises. They are 36-35 and just a game above both the Jazz and Mavericks in the standings. The Lakers are 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Jazz are completely off losing three of their last 10 games. On the other hand, the Mavericks are the hottest of the three teams winning seven of their last 10.
The good news for the Jazz, though they are trailing in the standings, if they somehow finished in a tie with the Lakers, they own the tiebreaker. Same thing if the Mavericks somehow come back and take over first place. The Jazz own both tiebreakers 2-1.
How plausible is it that the Mavericks overtake the final playoff seed available in the Western Conference? Well, very likely. In their final 11 games, they face the easiest schedule out of the three teams. However, they have a tough stretch of games coming up as they face the Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Lakers and Denver Nuggets in their next four games. Their schedule lightens up dramatically though:
Portland Trail Blazers
New Orleans Hornets
New Orleans Hornets.
As for the Lakers, their schedule is relatively easy until they meet the Mavs on Apr. 2. They actually have the toughest schedule between the three teams. They have the Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Bucks, Kings before seeing the Mavericks. here's the rest of their schedule:
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
San Antonio Spurs
The Jazz never have time to get comfortable they see the Suns and Trail Blazers before facing the Brooklyn Nets. The rest of their eight games looks like this:
Oklahoma City Thunder
This should be an interesting closing season for the Western Conference. The Lakers were considered favorites by many to be successful in 2013. Now, they are on the bring of not making the playoffs as they are barely grasping the final seed.
If anything, the team in the last seed will simply have the ability to brag about getting into the playoffs because they will face either the Spurs or the Thunder immediately in the first round. The Lakers, Jazz nor the Mavericks can get by either team in a seven-game series.
The playoffs begin on Apr. 20. We will have a winner by then.