In this restart the Dallas Mavericks have proved what we all suspected…
The Dallas Mavericks can beat anyone. Rats. Maybe I should have teased that a little longer. Then again, it’s a verdict everyone in Mavs Land knows by now. If the NBA restart has done anything, it’s reaffirmed the fact Dallas can beat anyone in the league.
Sadly, this restart has also reaffirmed some issues that have somewhat plagued the Mavs all season: their late game collapses allow them to lose to anyone in the league, as well.
The Dallas Mavericks were terrible all season long in the closing minutes. If they just played up to league average, they’d be a top-3 seed in the standings right now. Their struggles have continued in the restart.
The Mavs were ahead by seven points with 45 seconds left against the Houston Rockets. And they were up by 13 at the half against the luck-to-be-here Suns. Both games they lost in the closing minutes. The Mavs late-game struggles are evident again in the restart, indicating it’s an ongoing issue that has yet to be solved.
At the same time the Dallas Mavericks have shown their ability to perform well in critical situations. Their polar-opposite play was on display when they beat Milwaukee yesterday in OT. The Mavs were down late but charged back, forcing overtime, and coming up strong at the end to secure a win against the best team in the NBA.
The win against the Bucks wasn’t an isolated incident either. The Mavs also came back late against the Kings here in the restart. If you can remember way back to Tuesday, Dallas was down 10-points with 10 left in regulation.
They played ugly ball most of the night and if we’re being completely honest, it continued deep into the fourth. But they stepped up big in critical situations, pushing the game into overtime, and securing a win at the end.
Some may suggest the trick to this whole thing is playing from behind rather than playing from ahead. Given the back and forth nature of the game, that’s dangerous takeaway to try to employ. Rather, we should all come away from knowing what we suspected all along – the Dallas Mavericks can win or lose to anyone.
While this can be said with just about any team in playoffs, it’s especially true with Dallas. The team is brimming with young ascending talent that can make even the NBA’s brightest stars look foolish on any given play.
The Mavs are a team no one wants to face in a first round playoff series because of their high variance play. The Mavs bench has yet to regain their stride and the team shooting percentage is also below their season averages. If and when this gets corrected, Dallas is going to be even more formidable.
The most likely playoff match-up for the Mavs remains the LA Clippers. Given their star power and depth, the Clips have no reason to be scared of anyone in the league. But the Mavs have shown enough they have no reason to be scared of anyone either. Beating the Bucks on Saturday, Dallas showed they can preform strong in the clutch. They showed they can beat the best in the NBA without all their parts even working up to par.
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This is who the Dallas Mavericks are. This should both excite and scare fans. The fact they can win/lose to anyone isn’t an indictment, it’s a reality and proof that this is a work in progress.