Unless it’s a game in the NBA Playoffs, it’s very rare that one game could determine the outcome for two teams’ season. Most of the time, especially in the regular season, there are other chances for redemption or to gain more ground. However, on Tuesday when the Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center it may very well be a live-or-die type of game.
The Lakers currently occupy the eight-seed in the Western Conference and would make the playoffs if the season ended today. However, the Mavericks have been charging lately behind the spirited efforts of veteran stars like Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter. Dallas now trails the Lakers by only a game and a half for the eight-seed.
For that reason alone, this would be a big game for the Mavericks. If the Mavs were to get a win in this game, it would give them a mental edge over the Lakers and would give them the momentum in this playoff race. However, the importance goes beyond just those reasons.
The Mavericks have eight games remaining after the Los Angeles game while the Lakers have seven remaining. Only three of Dallas’ games are against teams that are currently in the playoffs while the Lakers have five games that are against current playoff teams. That’s a pretty important discrepancy for the Mavericks.
If the Mavericks were able to notch a victory over the Lakers on Tuesday, it would put them in prime position to sneak into the playoffs. Chances are that the Lakers would lose a few of the tough games that they have remaining while the Mavs should be able to mow through the soft part of their schedule. This game could legitimately determine who goes to the playoffs, which is why the Mavericks have to pull out all of the stops on Tuesday.