Mavs, Lakers, Jazz battling for No. 8 seed
The Mavericks, Lakers and Jazz each have 11 games left on their 82-game schedules.
With an assist from Gregory Found from ESPN Stats & Information, here's how the race for No. 8 in the West breaks down among the three teams in four key categories:
|Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss his recent conversation with Dez Bryant, the Cowboys' attempt at landing free agents without money and the Mavs' playoff push.
* The Mavs play six of their final 11 games at home.
* The Lakers also play six of their final 11 games at home.
* The Jazz, who have the worst road record (10-27) of any team still in playoff contention, play seven of their final 11 games at home.
* The Mavs play the 16th-toughest remaining schedule in terms of opponent winning percentage: .506.
* The Lakers play the seventh-toughest: .523.
* The Jazz play the 13th-toughest: .508.
* The Mavs have two back-to-backs left: 1. Denver (A)/Sacramento (A); 2. New Orleans (A)/Memphis (H).
* The Lakers also have two left: 1. Minnesota (A)/Milwaukee (A); 2. New Orleans (H)/Portland (A).
* The Jazz have one left: Portland (A)/Brooklyn (H).
* The Mavericks have already lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with Utah by losing the season series (2-1) with no games left between them.
* The Lakers have also lost the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Jazz by losing the season series (2-1) with no games left between them.
* The Lakers currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Dallas, but that could change April 2 when the Mavs go to Staples Center to try to even the season series at 2-2.
* If the Mavericks and Lakers wind up splitting their season series and need to break a tie between the teams for that last playoff spot, conference record will be the determining factor because the teams are in different divisions. The Lakers (19-23) currently have a slight edge on Dallas (19-24), but those records obviously can change a lot between now and the end of the regular season.
* The Jazz have likewise already clinched the three-way tiebreaker if the teams all end up deadlocked for the No. 8 seed at season's end because they sport the best record in games among the three teams at 4-2 with no games left. The Lakers are 3-3 against the other two teams with the April 2 game against the Mavs remaining; Dallas is 2-4 against the other two with one game left.
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