Dallas Mavericks: Becoming Antifragile from Season of Adversity

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

It hasn’t been an easy season for the 2020-2021 Dallas Mavericks. They got a slow start from their best player. A late start from their second best player. COVID protocols decimated the starting lineup for the better part of a month. Injuries have taken their pound of flesh consistently. And now we’ve even dealt with the temporary loss of the head coach.

This season keeps throwing adversity at the Dallas Mavericks, and the Mavs keep finding ways to survive. The Dallas franchise has scratched and clawed their way to seventh place in the West. Which may not sound all that impressive at first, but considering they were once in the bottom three, and they’re only four games from fourth, it’s am impressive feat, to be sure.

Like hammered metal, the Dallas Mavericks have gotten stronger with each pounding they take. And that pain is starting to show it’s gain here in April.

The adversity the Dallas Mavericks have faced this year is making them stronger.

Nassim Talib, author of Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder, may, in a way, be describing our beloved Dallas Mavericks. The theory of antifragility is that after succumbing to pain/disorder/adversity, an entity grows in strength and becomes less vulnerable than before.

The third step in exposure, antifragility comes after the beginning state of “fragile”, and the middle state of “robust”. It’s bigger, badder, and stronger than before.

The Dallas Mavericks, having had endured so many tough times, and so many different challenges and obstacles, are now better off for it. Are they stronger with players and/or coaches missing? Certainly not. But they are stronger having gone through it.

The Mavs have learned how to overcome certain losses here and there. This makes them all the more formattable down the stretch when the inevitable hiccup threatens them at the most inopportune time.

Teams that floated through the regular season with nary a speedbump in their way, won’t be as prepared to overcome. They just aren’t forged in the same metal.

One could look at the Dallas Mavericks season up until now and make a case it’s somewhat disappointing. After finishing seventh in the West last season, the expectation was that it was a stepping stone and Dallas would move improve in their standing in 2021. So on paper it looks like their growth has ceased and they have plateaued.

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But that completely ignores the narrative of the season. Given what they’ve endured this year, it’s shocking they are even in the top-8, quite frankly. Sitting in the seventh seed isn’t disappointing but rather impressive.

The Dallas Mavericks are playing the best ball of the season. Their defense is finally coming together and their most talented players are finding their groove. The best part is, they haven’t even peaked yet.

We can bemoan all the bad fortune the Mavs have been forced to endure this season and we can be upset they’re still only a seventh seed. Or we can look at this as a blessing of sort and necessary pain in the quest to become antifragile.

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Being antifragile doesn’t mean you’re unbeatable, but it speaks to the Dallas Mavericks mental state and their ability to overcome and that can be almost as important come what playoff time.

  • Published on 04/05/2021 at 15:01 PM
  • Last updated at 04/05/2021 at 15:01 PM