How concerned should OKC Thunder be with Mavericks overtaking them?

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during a game vs OKC Thunder (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks during a game vs OKC Thunder (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Kristaps Porzingis of Dallas Mavericks (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images) /

Games versus seeded sub .500 and chase pack teams:

Thunder:  OKC plays four in total with two games left versus the Grizzlies, one versus the Nets and another against the Wizards. All three teams have ramped up their efforts to a playoff-type level of performance as they wage personal battles to cement playoff berths.

Mavericks: Dallas plays five games against sub .500 seeds or chase pack teams. They’ll play one game each against the Grizzlies and Nets and one game each versus the Spurs, Kings, and Blazers.

Advantage – Thunder: this is close but the Mavericks play one additional game against a desperate team so the edge goes to OKC.

Games versus seeded +500 teams:

Thunder:  Nine games and of these games (which include the game in Boston today) the Thunder will meet seven Western elite teams and have one more versus the East (Miami). Unfortunately, that latter game is in Miami where the Heat plays a completely different brand of ball. ‘

Mavericks: Like OKC, Dallas plays nine, plus +500 seeds. The break down is similar but the two East teams Dallas plays are the Bucks and Pacers. Whereas the Thunder plays two games against the Nuggets and Jazz the Mavericks play two against the Rockets and Nuggets.

Advantage – Mavericks: Although Dallas plays the Bucks and several current home court seeds the fact the Thunder plays the LA teams on a back-to-back and more overall home court seeds gives the Mavericks the edge.

Back-to-back sets:

Thunder: OKC plays three sets and the hardest of the sets comes with a back-to-back versus the Clippers and Lakers. In the second game of that set, the Lakers also arrive having played the night prior in Sacramento. Depending on where the Kings are by early April this could help OKC.

Both meetings against the Grizzlies are in back-to-back sets (see below for rest advantages).

Mavericks: Dallas plays two sets but they occur within five games and over an eight-day period. making these games very challenging from a rest standpoint.

Advantage – Even: Although the Thunder plays an extra set the fact Dallas has to play their two sets so closely together makes this more of a draw.