The Mavericks aren't making any public proclamations about who they want to face in the first round. Slumping teams usually don't.
The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, wouldn't mind seeing Dallas to open up the playoffs. At least that's the opinion of George Karl.
Denver's coach sized up the percentages of the two most likely first round foes for the Nuggets.
"If we had to pick and choose on it, we would probably say 55 percent Dallas, 45 percent Oklahoma City, only because Oklahoma City is athletic like we are and they have two great players," Karl told ESPN Radio in Dallas. "They have two All-Stars who are really in their prime and have never won on the playoff stage. I just think right now our speed might have more effect against Dallas than it will against Oklahoma City."
The Thunder's two All-Stars are Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The Mavericks' jump-shooting attack is built around Dirk Nowitzki.
Dallas also is only (8-9) over the last 18 games, while Oklahoma City is streaking since the All-Star break.
"I personally like to be in a better mode of winning more games than probably Dallas," Karl added. "I like winning to be your partner going into the playoffs. Some coaches don't, but I personally think you don't have to win every game, but you want to be at least in a winning mode.
"I will give the benefit of the doubt that the Mavericks are a veteran, older team that understands the playoffs. I think they'll be energized for the playoffs."
Dallas (54-25) are trying to get their swagger back and should be up for Sunday's visit from Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns.
MAVERICKS 107, CLIPPERS 96: Dirk Nowitzki and surprise starter Corey Brewer each scored 20, as Dallas snapped a four-game losing streak by overwhelming the lottery-bound Clippers in the second half. The Mavs had six in double-figures and shot nearly 51 percent. Dallas outscored the Clippers 60-42 after halftime.
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