Don’t look now, but the Dallas Mavericks are officially the number three seed in the Western Conference. Not to mention the team finally clinched the grand prize itself: a trip to the NBA playoffs. With just five games left, Luka Doncic and company seem to be headed in the right direction.
If you remember two months ago, the team seemed dysfunctional at best. They had traded away their second best player and were stuck anywhere between being a play-in tournament team and a sixth seed a best.
Now with the playoffs in sight, the team must ask themselves:
Can the the Dallas Mavericks level of small ball success continue into the playoffs?
With five games left of the season, the team seems to have a mediocre schedule at best. On Friday night, the team will square off against their old arsenal Kristaps Porzingis. After that they are on the road against the Milwaukee Bucks and Detroit Pistons, then they finish off at home with the Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs.
If Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie continue their level, the team could definitely carry a ton of momentum into the post season.
It is because of their presence that teams should be fearful of Dallas. You see over the past three games Doncic has averaged more than 32 points and made more than 52 percent of his attempted shots. Along with that, he is contributing with around 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
He has also had two games where he has knocked down more than 50 percent of threes.
Like his counterpart, Dinwiddie is also finding a high level of success. During the month of March he averaged 18 points a game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field. His best game came against the Sacramento Kings on March 5. In a game without Doncic, he put in 38 points and scored on 50 percent of his attempts.
One final player who is excelling under Coach Jason Kidd’s system is Jalen Brunson. Over the past five games, the veteran is torching opponents with 18 points and going near perfect from the free throw line.
These guards have contributed to the high level of success of the team. Just look at what they do together on the court. Back on March 16th against the Brooklyn Nets, all three guards combined for 77 of the team’s 113 points. Not to mention they were 100 percent from the free throw line and made 51 percent of their joint shots.
But let us look at a game where they played a more important matchup.
On March 3rd against the Golden State Warriors (I choose this game because it was against a key Western Conference matchup where all three player played) the big three combo joined for 72 points and 20 assists.
However the win went beyond those big three. other players such as Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell proved to key matchups.
Usually the team’s starting lineup consist of Doncic, Brunson, Finney-Smith, Powell and Reggie Bullock. Dinwiddie comes off the bench as the first team option.
Of this starting lineup, Powell is the tallest player at 6’10.
Compare this lineup to other teams in the West and Dallas may have their hands full. For example, one team Dallas could face is the Utah Jazz. Their starting center Rudy Gobert is 7’1. He is a key all-star who has been proven pivotal on the defensive end.
Another team the Mavs must watch for is the Denver Nuggets. Denver is lead by an all-star center. Nikola Jokic stands tall at 6’11 and is a proven big man who can’t do a variety of everything on the court.
While Dallas may not have the fire power to match with team’s heights, they do have a variety of role players who can contribute at any given time. Their number of shooters and off ball handlers is what stands out from the rest.
Also don’t overlook the key most important numbers: Dallas is 2-1 against the Denver Nuggets, a team who has yet to face Spencer Dinwiddie and his new squad. Along with that they are 2-2 against the Jazz. However during the month of March the Mavs own Windy City.
Remember it was the small ball play of the 2011 Mavericks that allowed to have a deep playoff run. I mean who can forget J.J. Barea.
- Published on 04/01/2022 at 16:01 PM
- Last updated at 04/01/2022 at 14:05 PM