The Mavericks continue their playoff warm-up tour Friday at home against Utah. The Jazz are a potential second-round foe, though Dallas won’t show its hand in an otherwise meaningless game.
The two teams split the previous two games this season. Utah is still in a battle with Houston for the home-court advantage in the first round. The Mavs are locked in at No. 1 and Avery Johnson will probably rest two or three of his normal rotation guys.


—The Mavs are enjoying the view right now. The No. 1 seeds are sitting back and watching what’s going on with the rest of the Western Conference playoff picture, especially at the bottom.
It’s a jumbled mess down there, with the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers, Nuggets and Hornets still possibilities as a first-round opponent. The Mavs will face the eighth seed.
“Fortunately, we’re in a situation knowing we’re going to have the No. 1 seed,” Austin Croshere said. “I’ve been in a situation where you’re fighting for that eighth spot. It’s a lot more fun knowing you have that best record (and home-court) throughout the playoffs.”
Avery Johnson rested Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Stackhouse, Erick Dampier and Devin Harris at Minnesota on Wednesday, leaving the first three back in Dallas. Johnson was looking forward to seeing different personnel groupings in action.
“We’re always experimenting,” he said. “Always. That’s an ongoing process no matter who’s in uniform.”


“There probably can be a lot of contributing factors to that. Some we all don’t like to admit at the time, but that probably had a hand to play in it. Now that’s behind us and I can see a little difference in our team’s psyche. We’re glad to get that over with and now we can move on.” — Coach Avery Johnson, on the team’s lethargic play before clinching the top seed.