Could the Dallas Mavericks make the NBA Finals?

MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)
MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images) /
3 of 4
Dallas Mavericks
Dorian Finney-Smith, Small Forward (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /

Offensive Rebounding

This was a bit harder to pinpoint, but there seems to be some correlation between offensive rebounding percentage and a team’s playoff success. This seems to be stronger when a team has a below-average defensive rating.

In the 2019 playoffs, the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers had the fourth and fifth-highest offensive rebounding percentage off all playoff teams. Both teams had offensive and defensive ratings of over 110 and both teams were in the bottom 50th percentile of defensive rebounding percentage.

In the 2018 playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors finished third and fifth in offensive rebounding percentage. While in this stretch, the Warriors had a healthy Kevin Durant giving them an elite defensive player, the Cavaliers did not have such a piece at their disposal, with the exception of LeBron James, and it resulted in the Cavs having a bottom 50th percentile defensive rating and a 50th percentile defensive rebounding percentage.

In the 2017 playoffs, the San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers finished second and seventh in offensive rebounding percentage while having some of the worse defensive ratings and defensive rebounding percentages in that playoffs.

Sure, this is a really weak argument. Picking two conference finalists in each of the last three years doesn’t scream a statistically significant piece of writing, but hear me out. The logic holds some value.

The Mavericks currently have a below-average defense according to their defensive rating. (110.6) For a team that allows 110.3 points per game (currently 16th in the league), it is imperative that they make the most of their offensive possessions.

One thing we talked about previously was shooting efficiency being the most optimal way to score a lot of points, but what happens when you miss a shot? Grabbing an offensive rebound could lead up to an extra three points for the team. Enough of those and you start to see that advantage show up in the box score.

During the regular season, Dallas had an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.5 percent (T-10th in the entire league and T-6th amongst playoff teams) The playoff-eligible teams that have a better ORB% are:

Denver Nuggets (2-1)
LA Lakers (1-3)
LA Clippers (0-3)
Boston Celtics (0-2)
Philadelphia 76ers (2-0)

There is a likely chance the Mavericks play at least one of these teams on the list in the playoffs, which means they will need to make the most of every opportunity because all these teams are capable of running up the score.

I have provided you all this extremely cherry-picked data to tell you that the Mavericks need to keep up with their offensive rebounding in order to get more opportunities to score and make the most of each offensive possession. (Also conventional wisdom would suggest the same thing)

With two pieces of data that have a correlation to playoff success (one much stronger than the other), do the Mavs currently have the pieces to make a run for the ages?