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Monday, April 1, 2013
Race for 8th seed: Schedule comparison

By Tim MacMahon

PODCAST
Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Mavericks-Lakers game Tuesday night. If the Mavs lose, are their playoff hopes over?

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DALLAS –The race for the West’s eighth seed heads into the home stretch with the Dallas Mavericks trailing the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers by a game and a half.

With an assist from ESPN Stats and Information, here’s a quick comparison of the remaining schedules for the three teams. (Note: Strength of schedule is the average winning percentage of the opponents.)

MAVS
Strength of schedule: .485
Home games: 4
Road games: 5
vs. .500+: 4
Back-to-backs: 2

LAKERS
Strength of schedule: .562
Home games: 6
Road games: 2
vs. .500+: 5
Back-to-backs: 1

JAZZ
Strength of schedule: .522
Home games: 5
Road games: 3
vs. .500+: 4
Back-to-backs: 0

The Jazz own the tiebreakers against both the Mavs and Lakers. The Mavs-Lakers tiebreaker has yet to be determined. The Lakers can claim it with a win Tuesday night over the Mavs. If the Mavs win and tie the season series, the next tiebreaker would be conference record. The Lakers are 21-23 against West teams; the Mavs have a 19-24 conference record.