In the last game of the regular season for both clubs, the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks will be without key players in their lineups.
With no playoff seeding instability for the Spurs, Gregg Popovich has decided to rest 6 players for the game tonight.
Tim Duncan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, and David West are being held out to ensure each has an extended breather before what hopes to be a lengthy playoff run.
The Dallas Mavericks will be without the services of two of their point guards. Devin Harris (thumb) and J.J. Barea (groin) will be absent tonight, greatly affecting the Mavericks’ depth at point guard in their season finale.
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The Mavericks have a lot more significance riding on this game than the Spurs do. They’re penciled in at the 6th seed in the Western Conference heading into this game, but a lot can change at the end of the night.
If the Mavericks win this game and the Portland Trail Blazers lose to the Denver Nuggets, then the Mavericks move ahead of them thanks to owning the tie-breaker against the Trail Blazers in head-to-head games.
What becomes even more complicated is if the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors tonight with the Mavericks winning and the Trail Blazers losing. Each team would then be 43-39 in a three-way tie. Due to tie-breaking scenarios, the Mavericks would get the 5th seed, Trail Blazers the 6th seed, and Grizzlies the 7th seed.
The Grizzlies can go as high as 6th and as low as 7th. The Trail Blazers can go as high as 5th and as low as 6th. The Mavericks have the greatest flexibility, and can go as high as 5th and as low as 7th, which should serve as plenty of motivation for them tonight, as a worst case scenario for them involves facing this fearsome Spurs team in a first round series.