The Dallas Mavericks are taking on the Golden State Warriors Friday night and aren’t exactly putting their best foot forward. Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams will not play in this one as the team prepares for a couple other important contests.
Mavericks are taking a pass on GSW game knowing how important Sac and Denver games are next – Sitting both Deron and Dirk tonight
— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) March 25, 2016
Dallas is currently in a four-team battle for three playoff spots. The Mavericks are currently in the seventh spot but are only one game behind the Portland Trailblazers for the sixth seed and only one-half game ahead of the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz, tied for the eighth seed.
But while the knee-jerk reaction says that this is a bad move, the logical reaction is the exact opposite.
Starting Sunday, Dallas has a stretch where they play three games in four nights in three different cities. They play against the Kings in Sacramento on Sunday and Nuggets Denver on Monday before going home for a game against the Knicks on Wednesday.
The Mavericks have beaten the Warriors once this season, but that was in Dallas and Steph Curry was out of Golden State’s lineup. In the two times they’ve played the Warriors with Curry, Dallas has lost by an average of 19 points. Chances are good that playing in Oakland — where no visitor has won all year — the Mavericks weren’t beating the Warriors anyway, even with a full lineup.
Even though the likely result of this is a blowout for Golden State, this is a smart decision for the Mavericks. Simple math says that conceding one game for a better chance to win the next three is the right move.