The Dallas Mavericks will finish the upcoming season as a 10th-seed in the Western Conference and will not qualify for the playoffs.
At least that’s the prediction coming from the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
That organization has the Mavericks winning only 39.5 games and finishing in the West behind Golden State (66.5 wins), San Antonio (56.5 wins), the Los Angeles Clippers (53.5 wins), Utah (47.5 wins), Portland (46.5 wins), Oklahoma City (45.5 wins), Memphis (43.5 wins), Houston (41.5 wins) and Minnesota (41.5 wins).
When asked about that low number of projected victories for the Mavericks, the team’s president of basketball operations, Donnie Nelson, said: "I’ll leave all that up to the, quote unquote, experts. But we have a quiet confidence.
"We feel that we have the best coach in the business and we’ve got some people that are hungry that we feel like we can play up-tempo, we can play slow down. We’re definitely looking forward to the challenge.’’
The Mavericks were 42-40 and a sixth seed out West last year. Meanwhile, the last full season when the Mavericks lost less than 40 games was during the 1997-98 campaign – the year before Dirk Nowitzki joined the team.
Nelson believes the Mavericks can compete for a top four seed, which carries home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
"I think we’re right in the thick of it,’’ Nelson said. "It seems like the West, from top to bottom, gets tough every year.’’