Dallas Mavericks: We're (Almost) No. 2!

Get ready for Mavs-Spurs.

And I don't mean just in Wednesday night's regular-season finale at American Airlines Center. I mean in the playoffs. Yes, again.

With a walk-in-the-park, 23-point win over the ridiculous Clippers Monday night in Los Angeles, the Mavericks clinched at least the No. 3 playoff seed in the NBA's Western Conference. Already with the Southwest Division title, Dallas can bolt down the No. 2 spot:

*If Denver beats Phoenix tonight.

*If Dallas beats San Antonio tomorrow.

The significance? With the No. 2 seed the Mavs would have home-court advantage against every team except the Lakers and wouldn't face L.A. until the West finals. The playoffs begin this weekend.

Remember when a wise man - oh okay, a dork - predicted Dallas needed to go 6-2 in its final eight to earn No. 2? Don't look now but they're 5-2 with one to play.

Hard to gauge much against the Clippers, but the Mavs appear to be peaking. Shawn Marion returned last night after nine days off. Caron Butler was given the night off to rest a sore hip. The Spurs have struggled at times this season but now have old hands Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker back in a groove. The Mavs have won the last two playoff series, would have home-court advantage and would be heavy favorites.

Question: Do you still fear the Spurs?

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