The Associated Press
DALLAS (AP) - There are a few significant things the Dallas Mavericks don't have to worry about going into the playoffs this time.
There's no pressure trying to live up to being the number one seed -- like last season, when the Mavericks became the only top seed eliminated in a best-of-seven first-round series.
Dirk Nowitzki says it's definitely different -- and this year they kind of go out and play and have fun.
Plus, by beating New Orleans in the regular season finale Wednesday night, Dallas avoided starting the playoffs in Los Angeles against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
Now the only way the Mavericks and Lakers can meet this postseason is if both win two series and get to the Western Conference finals.
The Mavericks (51-31) will still start the playoffs on the road for the first time since 2001 as the number seven seed.