The Dallas Mavericks’ success this season is sustainable

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks just completed one of their most successful months…ever. Forget about the clunker they threw up Sunday night against the Magic, the Dallas Mavericks posted a 13-3 record in January. And they did in a very sustainable way.

The Dallas Mavericks aren’t a gimmicky basketball team. In fact, they’re one of the least gimmicky teams out there. With a focus on defense and effort, the Dallas Mavericks are playing the game the old fashioned way. They are raising the floor and becoming less reliant on making baskets.

Granted, the reason for the loss against Orlando is because the shot, did indeed, go cold. Not to completely disregard the evidence to contrary, allow me to minimize it – Every team goes cold from time to time. And when you miss eight of the last eight, it doesn’t really matter how good your defense is.

Sometimes the best defense in the world isn’t enough to overcome poor shooting. It’s unavoidable at times. But consistently strong defense makes the margin of error much wider and can make up for the occasional brick here or there.

The Dallas Mavericks are no longer a team that lives and dies by the jump shot and that inevitably reduces their upset potential.

They are currently a top-5 defensive team in the NBA. And they’re doing to so with Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson both playing heavy minutes. Speaking of Doncic, despite what the national narrative wants to tell you about his season, no one is playing better than Doncic right now.

He’s posted five triple-doubles in 2022, he’s leading his team to one of the best records of 2022, and he’s doing it without hurting the team on defensive side of the floor.

Every team goes cold from time to time. And when you miss eight of the last eight, it doesn’t really matter how good your defense is.

Don’t get me wrong – offense will always be key for this team. The Dallas Mavericks will inevitably be in trouble when their top scorers struggle shooting the ball. But the strong defense buys them time during those unavoidable cold spells. No, they can’t go ice cold like they did Sunday night, but they can survive average cold spells  – just like they did repeatedly throughout the month of January.

With the trade deadline approaching much can happen to this team between now and the trade deadline. This defensive chemistry can be disrupted at any moment, especially with Dorian Finney-Smith said to be on the market. But it’s doubtful Jason Kidd would be interested in bringing in a new player without plus defense (unless is Goran Dragic in a post-buyout situation) so even that isn’t a major concern.

Looking at the individual parts, it really doesn’t make sense that the Dallas Mavericks are this good on defense. And that should be comforting. It shows buy-in and the ability for the sum of the parts to be greater than the individuals.

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The blueprint the Dallas Mavericks is sustainable as long as the players stay bought in and keep working as a team. Be excited about this.