Mavs Tank Watch: Critical Game Tuesday Could Alter Team's Future

Josh Clark
April 10, 2018 - 11:22 am
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Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - As the NBA season comes to a close, we're keeping a close watch on where the Dallas Mavericks will finish in the standings to determine their odds of getting the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA lottery.

The latest:

The depleted Mavericks did their best against the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday but ultimately fell short to lose their third straight game.

After a loss by the Orlando Magic on Monday and back to back wins by the Atlanta Hawks over the weekend, the Mavs find themselves in a three-way tie for third place in the lottery standings.

Trouble is lurking, however, as Dallas has the task of taking on the Phoenix Suns in the final game of the season tonight. The good news is that Phoenix clinched the worst record in the NBA after they lost to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday. With the Suns guaranteeing themselves of having the most ping pong balls when the lottery takes place on May 15, they might want to do their best to finish the season out with a win. 

The Mavericks appear to be cognizant of what's at stake tonight as 105.3 The Fan's Mike Fisher reports that Harrison Barnes will join Dirk Nowitzki (ankle surgery), J.J. Barea (oblique), Nerlens Noel (suspension) and Wesley Matthews (leg) on the inactive list. 

A loss to Phoenix would certainly behoove the Mavericks as a win could prove to be very costly to their hopes of finishing in the top-3. The Magic's final game is against the Washington Wizards, who are fighting for a better playoff seed. Meanwhile, Atlanta hosts the Philadelphia 76ers, who are trying to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third spot in the East. 

The Mavs could catch a break, however, as 76ers star Ben Simmons is questionable for tonight's game. Philadelphia is already without all-star center Joel Embiid. 

If Dallas were to beat the Suns, and the Hawks and Magic were to lose their final games, they would fall to fifth in the standings. The good news for Dallas is that they can't finish worse than that.

The Mavs currently have a 12.1 percent chance of landing the number one overall pick, and a 38.2 percent chance of landing a top-3 pick. 

Standings:

1st: Phoenix Suns: 20-61

Next Game: @ Mavericks (4/10)

2nd: Memphis Grizzlies: 22-59 (2.0 GB)

Next Game: @ Oklahoma City (4/11)

3rd: Atlanta Hawks: 24-57 (4.0 GB)

Next Game: vs 76ers  (4/10)

4th: Dallas: 24-57 (4.0 GB)

Next Game: vs Suns (4/10)

5th: Orlando Magic: 24-57 (4.0 GB) 

Next Game: vs Washington (4/11)