Dallas Mavericks blueprint for postseason success in 2023

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

Last season, the Dallas Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011. A key part of the team’s postseason run included the play and style of a small ball lineup. Players like Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jalen Brunson all played a pivotal role in helping Dallas utilize its smaller size to score from various aspects of the field.

But, with Brunson gone and the additions of big men Javale McGee and Christian Wood, the team’s backcourt could look a bit taller this season.

What must the Dallas Mavericks do to build on last year’s postseason success?

In the playoffs last season, the Mavs took the NBA by storm as they won their first playoff series since 2011, and defeated the number one seeded Phoenix Suns in a crushing seven game series.

However, Dallas hit reality when they squared off against the Golden State Warriors. In the series, the Mavs was rebounded 234- 177. Players like Kevon Looney dominated the paint, as Dallas found no answer.

Fast forward to this season, and the Mavs hope to have solved one of their blueprints of reaching the Western Conference finals.

So, here is the team’s blueprint towards a future playoff performance.

1. Improving up Front

This offseason, Dallas made it very clear: fix their rebounding woes or else suffer a repeat playoff performance. The additions of Wood and McGee might have done just that. Last season, Wood had one his best years, as he averaged 10.1 rebounds and 17.9 points.

As for McGee, he averaged 6.7 rebounds in under 15.8 minutes. These are both higher averages than anyone not named Luka Doncic.

Having McGee start, and Wood off the bench will provide tremendous help as it gives the team multiple big man options. Not to mention, the team still has Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber on their roster.

Assuming Wood improves upon his numbers from last season, then Dallas has a high chance of having a repeat playoff performance.

2. Next Man Up

Another aspect Dallas must focus on is improvement from within. Last season, Dorian Finney-Smith took the biggest jump on the roster. In one season, he improved his points per game average by 1.2 points, and steals per game by almost a whole point. His jump to the level game, helped Dallas find its missing three and D wing.

This season though, the Dallas Mavericks will need another player to make that next leap if they hope to reach the Conference finals. One Mavs player that comes to mind is Josh Green. This offseason, Green has been putting in work, and he has fans wondering if this will be his year.

If Green or any other player for that can take that next leap, then Dallas has a higher chance of going back to promise land.

3. Become a Top Three Defense

Last season the Dallas Mavericks’ defense took the biggest jump. The team finished with a 109.1 defensive rating, 2.9 points behind the first place team. A mixture of man on man defense and role assignments helped the team solidify into a top tier defense.

Other highlights on the team’s defense included the emergence of Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock. The two wings helped put Dallas on the map.

Now, with an even bigger roster Dallas hopes to takes its’ defense to the next level.

With new players on board, the team will need to overcome its 29th place finish in steals and 28th place finish in blocks.

Assuming Wood and McGee do their part, the Mavs defense might be even better.

Dallas Mavericks top early objective: Build up Tim Hardaway Jr. dark. Next

The Mavs were four games away from reaching the NBA promise land. If things get back on track, Dallas has a high probability of surprising the league once again and moving toward a future NBA title.