Dear San Antonio Spurs,
With a chance to beat the reeling Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night and go a long way toward securing the No. 2 seed in the NBA's Western Conference Playoffs for the Mavericks, the Spurs decided to rest stars Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Tim Duncan and trot out its D-League team.
The result: A group featuring Tiago Splitter, Chris Quinn and Daniel Green lost to the Lakers, allowing L.A. to snap its five-game losing streak. If the Lakers beat the Kings in Sacramento tonight they'll be the No. 2 seed. The Mavericks host the Hornets tonight, and depending on the result could wind up the No. 2, 3 or 4 seed, and could end up with any of four different first-round opponents.
The worst part of the Spurs' give-up? San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich says his star-studded trio will play tonight in the meaningless season-finale against the Phoenix Suns.
Can't believe Mark Cuban is being mum on this one.
Most likely, the Mavs will beat the Hornets and the Lakers will beat the Kings. (Lakers center Andrew Bynum did leave last night's game with a knee injury) If so, Dallas is the No. 3 seed and L.A. will have the homecourt advantage in a potential second-round series.
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If Dallas wins and L.A. loses, Mavs are the No. 2 seed.
If the Mavs lose and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Bucks at home, Dallas would slide to No. 4.
As for their playoff opponent, who knows? Could be the Blazers, Nuggets, Hornets or Grizzlies. Most likely is the Mavs finishing No. 3 and hosting the No. 6 Blazers in a best-of-7 first-round series starting Saturday in American Airlines Center.
Should be an interesting night.