Mavs Tank Watch: Dallas Moves Into Tie For Third After Loss Sunday

Josh Clark
April 09, 2018 - 12:24 pm
 Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle

John E. Sokolowski-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 NBA's hottest team on Sunday but ultimately fell short to lose their third straight game.

Dallas was led by Dennis Smith Jr.'s strong performance in the 109-97 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. The rookie point guard compiled 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in 40 minutes of action. 

Thanks to back to back wins by the Atlanta Hawks, the Mavs suddenly find themselves in a 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 on Tuesday. 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. 

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 Orlando Magic, who currently sit just a half-game behind Dallas and Atlanta, have games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards, both of whom are fighting for better playoff positions. Atlanta's final game of the season is against the 76ers, who are trying to hold off the Cleveland Cavaliers for the third spot in the East. 

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 13.8 percent chance of landing the number one overall pick, and a 42.6 percent chance of landing a top-3 pick. 

Standings:

1st: Phoenix Suns: 20-61

Next Game: @ Mavericks (4/10)

2nd: Memphis Grizzlies: 22-58 (2.5 GB)

Next Games: @ Minnesota (4/9); @ 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: 24-56 (4.5 GB) 

Next Game: @ Bucks (4/9); vs Washington (4/11)