Two shots for Mavs to get No. 2 seed tonight

For tonight, at least, the Dallas Mavericks will root for the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.

Two scenarios tonight could clinch the No. 2 seed for the Mavs:

If the Nuggets win at the Phoenix Suns, the Nuggets will win the Northwest Division, lock up the No. 3 seed and lock out the Utah Jazz from the No. 2 seed. The Jazz is the only team that can bump the Mavs out of the No. 2 seed. If the Jazz loses at Golden State, it would also assure the Mavs of the No. 2 seed.

A potential interesting dilemma for the Mavs is that if the Jazz win tonight at Golden State, the Mavs-Spurs game will tip well before Jazz-Suns on Wednesday night, so Mavs will have no choice but to play to win. Utah will then find out as it plays Phoenix if it still has a shot at No. 2.

Here's a handy playoff pairings primer that the good folks at the Jazz sent out:



2. Dallas or Utah

3. Denver, Phoenix, Dallas or Utah

4. Utah, Denver or Phoenix

5. Phoenix, Denver or Utah

6. Portland or San Antonio

7. San Antonio or Portland


CAPS: locked into position

Dallas will be seeded:

#2 if Mavericks win OR Denver wins OR Utah loses a game

#3 if Mavericks and Denver loses and Utah wins both games

Utah will be seeded:

#2 if Jazz wins both games and Mavericks and Nuggets lose.

#3 if Jazz wins both games, Mavericks win and Nuggets lose.

#4 if Denver wins and Utah beats Phoenix OR if Denver loses and Utah loses to Golden State and beats Phoenix.

#5 if Utah loses to Phoenix.

Denver will be seeded:

#3 if Nuggets win OR if Jazz lose to Warriors and Suns lose to the Jazz.

#4 if Nuggets lose and Suns beat the Jazz.

#5 if Nuggets lose and Jazz win both games.

Phoenix will be seeded:

#3 if Nuggets lose and Suns win both games.

#4 if Suns lose to the Nuggets and beat the Jazz OR Suns beat Nuggets, lose to the Jazz and Jazz beats the Warriors.

#5 if Suns lose both games OR if Suns beat Nuggets and lose to Jazz and Jazz loses to Warriors.

Portland will be seeded:

#6 if Blazers win OR Spurs lose

#7 if Blazers lose and Spurs win

San Antonio will be seeded:

#6 if Spurs win and Blazers lose

#7 if Spurs lose OR Blazers win

Here's the remaining schedules for seeds 2-7:

2 Dallas (54-27): vs. San Antonio (Wed)

3 Denver (53-28): @Phoenix (tonight)

4 Utah: (52-28) @Golden State (tonight); vs. Phoenix (Wed)

5 Phoenix (52-28): vs. Denver (tonight); @Utah (Wed)

6 Portland (50-31): vs. Golden State (Wed)

7 San Antonio (50-31): @Dallas (Wed)