Dallas Mavericks: A season’s growth and the 2022 lesson

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks have imprinted their legacy within the Western Conference this season as they clinched 50 wins and secured an oh-so-rewarding playoff spot. Last season the team was nowhere near the level of success they obtained this NBA year.

During the 2020-2021 season the Mavs finished with 42 wins and wound up being the 5th best squad in the West. Fast forward to now and the Mavs have a 50-30 record and are somewhere between the third and fourth spot in the West. That’s a significant step.

The Dallas Mavericks have improved considerably this season under Jason Kidd

When examining the Dallas Mavericks, a lot has changed over this past year. First off, they had their first true winning season since the 2014-2015 year. Before then, the team hadn’t won 50 games since the 2010-2011 championship campaign.

There are many fiscal points that can be attributed to the squad’s recent success. For example, the first major hurdle this past offseason was hiring a winning coach to replace former Mavericks’ Champion Advisor, Rick Carlisle.

When Jason Kidd was brought in, many wondered what he could bring to the table. You see, before his time with Dallas this year, Kidd had failed to ever reach 50 wins as a head coach. His best season came during the 2013-2014 season when he lead the Brooklyn Nets to the Conference Semifinals.

However, he would turn those insecurities around as he lead the team into becoming a top four team in the West. Other key highlights included his ability to improve the team’s mentality on the defensive end. It is because of his presence that the team ranks second in points allowed and seventh in defensive rating this NBA year.

These are all dramatic improvements for team who struggled to find any sort of stop of the other side of the court.

Coach Kidd also helped Dallas discover the true definition of “homecourt advantage.” Currently, the team is 27-12 at home and 19-4 this 2022 campaign. The past two seasons, the Mavericks have failed to reach more than 21 wins at home.

It is also because of his presence that young guys on the team have excelled in key areas on the court. One guy in particular is Dorian Finney-Smith. The Mavs’ small forward has developed into the defensive star Coach Kidd has been preaching for.

Some highlights include his career high of 85 steals and a ranking of third centered around number of shot attempts defended. (compared to non-centers) Another proven quality is that he had the highest minutes on the court guarding the opponent’s highest used player.

Finney-Smith isn’t the only Mavs player to take a step forward. Jalen Brunson also experienced a high level of success this season. Under former Coach Carlisle, JB averaged just 21 minutes a games in just three season. Compare that to this year and his on the floor for around 32 minutes.

Due to his increase presence on the court, he has shattered statistics from previous seasons. For example he upped his points per game by four points, while also increasing his assist total from 3.5 to 4.8. Another key number is that he has averaged more double-doubles this season than his first three years combined. When placed in the starting lineup he scores around 17.7 points.

Kidd’s trust in the guard has allowed to demonstrate his ability to take over a game when needed.

Another player whose level of play has increased is Josh Green. In his second year, Green has upped his minutes per game from 11.4 to 15.5. His ability to make his mark on the court is really starting to show. Against the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night, the 21 year-old put in 12 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. He also shot 83.3 from the field.

The confidence the organization has shown in him is really starting to show.

Of course who can forget the level of play from All-Star Luka Doncic. The Mavs’ right hand man has really shown off this NBA campaign. Doncic recorded his first 50 point game this season, averaged over 28 points and increased his ability to finish games with a double double.

Doncic is the man and there is no question he is going to keep excelling season by season.

The level of success from the team this season has dramatically increased from year’s past. I is because of new additions and key improvements that the team has excelled in various aspects of the game.

Next. Who’s the ideal match-up for the Dallas Mavericks?. dark

With the playoffs under, Mavs fans can only hope this continued success leads to a deep run in the playoffs.

  • Published on 04/08/2022 at 12:34 PM
  • Last updated at 04/08/2022 at 12:34 PM