A chance to defend the NBA Championship is still up in the air for the Dallas Mavericks.
At 31-26, the Mavs currently are the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference in the middle of a logjam. The Mavs are two games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for fifth place, but 10th-place Utah is just two games behind Dallas. The good news is that the next three games are against sub-.500 teams, but the bad news is that six of the final nine games are on the road, and the Mavs are 11-16 on the road this season. The San Antonio Spurs haven't clinched the division yet, but it's all but a formality now.
With Lamar Odom going on the inactive list, the Mavs lose some length and athleticism. The Mavs were 0-7 without Odom in the lineup this season. That's going to have to change if Dallas wants to defend its title.