Dallas Mavericks: Scenarios for Possible Playoff Opponents

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIApril 26, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 21: Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks watches from the bench as his teammates take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on April 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Mavericks 93-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agress that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

If you're looking for a jam-packed day in the world of sports, then you've picked the right day.

Not only do we have the first round of the NFL draft tonight, but the condensed NBA regular season will finally come to a close with a slate of 13 games on the docket to officially determine who faces whom in the playoffs starting this weekend.

For the Dallas Mavericks, we know the defending NBA Champions are back in the fold for a 12th straight year, but their first-round opponent is still undecided.

Here's all you need to know for tonight:

The Mavs play the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta tonight after having four days of rest and enter the Highlight Factory with a chance to change both their own and the Hawks' playoff positioning.

Currently, Dallas is one game behind the Denver Nuggets, who play the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road tonight, for the sixth seed in the West.

If Dallas and Denver win, or if they both lose, the Mavs will be the No. 7 seed and face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Western Conference Finals rematch, with Game 1 coming on Saturday in OKC.

If Dallas wins and the Nuggets lose, the Mavs will clinch the No. 6 seed and face the Los Angeles Lakers in a rematch of last year's Western Conference Semifinals. Game 1 would be on Sunday in Los Angeles.

So, simply put, you have two possible rematches that would be exciting to watch from the get-go.

No matter who the champs face in the first round, it's going to be certain that a majority of people won't pick them to get past either the young, athletic guys from Oklahoma City or the tough, rugged vets from LA.

Nonetheless, it's going to be really exciting to say the least.

Playoff basketball is almost here. My, how fast time flies.


How much of a chance do you give the Mavs in the first round, no matter who they face? Leave your thoughts in the comments, or leave your "Let's Go Mavs!" chants in there, too.