Doncic's Dallas in Dire Straits: NBA Playoffs Seem a Distant Dream
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The Dallas Mavericks find themselves further adrift from the NBA playoffs, facing an arduous task to secure a postseason berth after Oklahoma City Thunder's triumph over Utah Jazz. The Thunder emerged victorious on the road in Salt Lake City, outscoring the Jazz 114:98, and notching their 39th win of the season.
This result propelled them to the tenth position in the Western Conference, the last available spot for the play-in tournament. “We were aware of the situation. We are aware that we can control our own destiny,” said Gilgeous-Alexander, a key player for the Thunder.
Josh Giddey tallied an impressive 17 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds, while Aaron Wiggins contributed 15 points for the Thunder. Holding a half-game lead over Dallas, the Thunder can guarantee their place in the play-in by defeating Memphis in their final game on Sunday.
“If we win, we’re in,” Gilgeous-Alexander declared. “I’m excited, a great opportunity. If you asked me if I wanted to be in this position at the beginning of the year, I’d say yes”.
In contrast, Kris Dunn's commendable performance of 22 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds couldn't prevent the Jazz from being eliminated from postseason contention. “It’s a hard moment to know that you’re out.
But, again, I don’t think our team should walk out of here or think about this season in any other way than with their heads up and their shoulders pulled back with a lot of pride,” Utah coach Will Hardy said.
“We didn’t necessarily have our fastball tonight but I thought we showed good poise and resilience through the ups and downs of the game,” remarked Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault. “It’s a great opportunity for a young team as a lot of our experiences are new experiences we can grow from”.
A Miraculous Turnaround Needed for Dallas to Secure a Playoff Berth
For Dallas to defy the odds and make the playoffs, they must emerge victorious in their final two home games against Chicago and San Antonio, while simultaneously relying on Oklahoma City's defeat at the hands of Memphis.
Dallas missing the playoffs would be considered one of the most significant surprises in recent NBA memory, particularly after they united Doncic with Irving to create the league's premier guard duo. Yet, it appears this astonishing reality may be just around the corner.