With the Golden State Warriors loss and the Dallas Mavericks win Wednesday night, some things have changed in the Western Conference standings.

Most notably, the race for the third seed is now Dallas’ to lose. Yet, Jason Kidd had something else to say regarding the potential standings after his team’s 120-112 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I am not worried about Golden State losing,” Kidd said. “We are just trying to take care of what is in front of us right now.”

Kidd may not be worried about the standings. That’s fine. Everyone else will be.

Here is what the top-six standings look like in the Western Conference as of today:

In beating Cleveland, Dallas not only clinched a playoff spot but also took hold of the three seed, which Golden State has been begging to give up in the last month.

As for what the three-seed does regarding potential playoff matchups, not much. Utah has backslid and finds itself at the sixth spot in the West. Denver is winning enough to keep its head above water with the most-likely MVP in Nikola Jokic. And if Steph Curry doesn’t come back soon, things are looking grim for Golden State.

Out of all possible matchups, Dallas playing Utah remains the most Maverick beneficial.

Dallas’ 2022 turnaround 

If someone asked at the start of this season if Dallas would finish top three in the West, few would have said yes emphatically.

And with the way Dallas played through the first quarter of the season, those individuals would have been right.

However, since January, Dallas has done something remarkable. It has won every game it was supposed to and done so in style.

Luka Doncic is playing some of his best basketball. And against Cleveland, with many Slovenians in the crowd, he put on another dazzling performance. He scored 35 points and dished out 13 assists. He missed the triple-double by one rebound.

After the game, he said he wanted to put on a show. And Kidd explained that he and Doncic talked about playing in front of Slovenians on the plane headed for Cleveland.

Wednesday was just another example of how Doncic always finds a way to play his best when the lights are the brightest. He’s a showman, after all.

With the three seed in hand, Dallas heads into a grudge match Friday with the Washington Wizards and former Maverick Kristaps Porzingis. Sparks will fly. Tempers will flare. But if Dallas wins, the grip on the three seed will only get tighter from there.

“Everybody is peeking at it [the standings],” Dorian Finney-Smith said. “We just want to finish the season playing the right way. Whoever we got, we going to be ready to play.”

Related Dallas Mavericks reading
“How the Mavs proved they can be a problem in the playoffs.” 
“Mavs Journal: Dallas has its sights on a championship, not just the 3rd seed.” 

“Jalen Brunson stepped up in a playoff-like game against Utah.” 

Feature image via David Richard-USA TODAY Sports.