The Western Conference has become a warzone with teams competing for the remaining playoff spots. Currently, the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzles and Phoenix Suns are all fighting neck-and-neck for the final two spots in the West. On Tuesday, Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks to a huge win with postseason implications.
Dallas was able to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder 128-119, giving the team their first overtime win of the year. This win also moves Dallas to the eighth seed and 0.5 games in front of Phoenix in the West.
Throughout the 2013-14 season, there have been questions surrounding the Mavericks’ island of misfits roster. The biggest question is whether or not this Dallas team has what it takes to compete in postseason play. Against the Thunder on Tuesday, Dirk helped the Mavericks prove that this team deserves to be in the playoffs. Dirk contributed 32 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals as the Mavericks had their way with the Thunder.
This type of performance from Dirk proves that he still has confidence in his team. Dallas suffered a tough loss to the Brooklyn Nets recently, but Dirk should never be counted out. He proved on Tuesday night that he can carry this Dallas team to the postseason.
As a team, Dallas outplayed Oklahoma. The Mavericks had 10 more rebounds and five more steals than than Thunder. Jose Calderon had one of his best performances in his matchup with Russell Westbrook. He had 22 points, eight assists and four rebounds. He was also 6-of-9 from behind the arc, hitting some of the game’s biggest shots.
Right now, Dallas is in control of their own playoff fate. Their remaining schedule isn’t easy, but it is winnable. If Dirk and the Mavericks can continue playing like this, the team is bound to make the playoffs.