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
Danilo Gallinari #8 of the OKC Thunder during a game vs Mavericks. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Games versus 2-7 seeds:


OKC plays six games versus these seeds and they are all crucial as they will help to determine where the Thunder finish the season.  The Thunder has only finished one series so the games against these teams take on extra relevance.

  • Rockets: Thunder own tiebreak (2-1)
  • Clippers: Trail 2-1 with one to play
  • Jazz: Split two games have two to play
  • Nuggets: Split two games, have two to play
  • Mavericks: Series is even with one game to play


Dallas plays these seeded squads eight times (two more than the Thunder).

That fact could be a negative or it could work the opposite way if Dallas is able to win more than they lose as it simultaneously drops those seeds down and moves them up.

That said, Dallas could end up helping both themselves and the Thunder. Case in point: the Mavs play the Rockets twice who the Thunder already owns the tiebreak against. Likewise, if both clubs can win out against the Nuggets that’s a drop of four games that would move both clubs ahead of Denver.

Mavericks season series:

  • Rockets: each club has won once with 2 games to play
  • Clippers: Lost the season series 0-2, have one game to play
  • Jazz: Lost season series 0-2 to Jazz with one game to play
  • Nuggets: Split two games, have two to play
  • Thunder: Series is even with one game to play

Advantage – Thunder: The Mavericks have lost two of their season series already and have more games versus this group. As noted, if OKC takes care of their business and keeps winning they can also benefit if Dallas can win both games against the Rockets and Nuggets.


Examining the schedule it seems to favor the Thunder. The intangible part of the equation is Kristaps Porzingis has found his fit in Dallas and chemistry with Luka Doncic. That makes the Mavericks a much tougher out and a team that the top clubs likely aren’t keen to face.

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Meanwhile, Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have come together as a formidable backcourt and are the leaders of the clutch time kings. Make no mistake, none of the top teams want to wage war with OKC especially in the first round.

Still, the Thunder has to control what they can and focus on their own games. They can’t get caught up worrying about other teams. Surely, they’ll keep track of where teams are but ultimately, they need to just take care of business.

Every year the last games played in the season end up affecting seeding. That final game for the Thunder in Dallas could follow suit.

Next. What would an Thunder vs Clippers playoff match look like?. dark

And, even if the Thunder put enough space between themselves and the Mavericks the outcome of that game could still affect final seeding.