If the Western Conference works out the way the Denver Nuggets want, they'll open the playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks.

After losing to the Nuggets on Wednesday night, the Mavericks are only one game ahead of the Thunder for the third seed in the West. As a division champion, the Thunder would have the tiebreaker, even though the Mavs won the season series.

The Mavericks, who have lost their last four games and are 8-9 since a 21-1 run, are slumping as the playoffs approach. Dallas has lost its last nine games against West playoff teams.

Karl would rather face Dallas because "Oklahoma City is athletic like we are and they have two great players," referring to the Thunder's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

Karl believes that the Mavericks are a less difficult team to defend than the Thunder because Dallas is a one dimensional offensive threat.