It will not have been their best victory of the season, but whatever, the Mavs beat the Raptors (114-110). Faced with a very limited Toronto team, Dallas did the job and especially composted for good his ticket to the playoffs.
In the fight with the Blazers and the Lakers to avoid the “play-in”, the Mavs have secured their place in the Top 6 of the Western Conference. For them who had won 9 victories in their first 22 meetings, it is a great accomplishment.
“I remember that bad period when we were in twelfth or thirteenth place in the standings”, talks about Luka Doncic in the Dallas Morning News. “Everyone saw us miss the playoffs, but now we are there and we will have several days off. This is what we needed. “
While the “play in” tournament begins on May 18, the playoffs start later, on the 22nd or 23rd. For the Mavs, it’s a first victory.
“This victory was important”, adds Carlisle. “Avoiding play-in is significant, it’s important. There are so many advantages to not playing in. I’m happy for our guys, they worked hard for it. “
“It’s great, especially after our start to the season”
In a still formidable Western conference, the Mavs had a very good second part of the season with 24 wins for 13 losses (against 18-16 before the cut of the All-Star). They will be able to benefit from a week before their duel in the first round, which is obviously not negligible at this stage of the year.
“It’s great, especially after our start to the season”, Jalen Brunson blows. “The guys knew what this team was capable of. We remained united and we continued to push despite the difficulties. “
With a final game against Minnesota, the Mavs will in any case have the opportunity to seize fifth place for good, which would mean a duel against the Clippers… or the Nuggets. In any case, against the grain of criticism from some players, including LeBron James and Luka Doncic, but also from leaders like Mark Cuban. Coach Carlisle is in favor of “play-in” … Easier to say when you avoid it!
“It’s good for our league. It really caused a lot of talk on social networks. The league is attracting a lot of attention with its competitiveness and a very tight standings. This is only positive. For me, you have to accept this competitiveness. It can be stressful for some but these are times when you really have to focus and put yourself in your bubble. This is how we’re going to do it. You can follow this or that game and analyze all the scenarios in ten different ways, but in fact you just have to control what you can control. “
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