The Dallas Mavericks currently sit in seventh place in the Western Conference at 32-26, and a playoff berth is far from certain.
The middle of the Western Conference standings are a logjam. The Mavs are only two games behind the fifth-place Memphis Grizzlies, but they're also just two games ahead of the 10th-place Utah Jazz. Dallas has struggled on the road this season, and six of the Mavs' final eight games are on the road, so it's going to be tough, but only four of those games are against current playoff teams.
The Mavs are fourth in the Southwest Division, which has been all but wrapped up by the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs are one game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for first in the Western Conference. Behind the Spurs are the Lakers and Clippers, but the final two spots for home-court in the first round still are up for grabs. The Mavericks have had one of the worst seasons by a defending champ in recent memory, and missing the playoffs would be a disaster.