Dallas Mavericks path to becoming elite in the West

(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Last week, the Dallas Mavericks were the hottest team in the league, winning seven straight. Fast forward to now, and the team has gone 2-3 since. Their sole victory came against the New Orleans Pelicans, who were without stars Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.

Oh, but who can forget last night’s double overtime victory against Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It seems as though, the Dallas Mavericks have no problem defeating teams they are suppose to beat, but suffers against high-level opponents.

So how can the Dallas Mavericks become an elite team in the Western Conference?

Honestly the answer to the question seems pretty simple. On paper Dallas is a top five team in the West. Any given day they have the tendency to swap between the fourth and fifth spot.

Yet, there is so much more room for improvement.

For starters, the Mavs must show they can compete any team in the league. During the month of December, their one true victory came on Dec. 6th when they beat the Denver Nuggets. Since then though, Dallas has struggled against high-caliber squads.

Last week, I mentioned how Dallas scrapped through below average team to win seven straight. Against the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers this week, the Mavs lost by 29 and 12 points.

The latter half of January will prove to be a true test, as Luka Doncic’s team will have to face off against the Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, and Clippers once again.

Another thing the Mavs must do to establish themselves as an elite threat is get Doncic some help. Right now, the team’s offense is almost a one-man show. For December the team’s euro star averaged 35 points a game. Currently, he is averaging 34.8 points in January.

Aside from Doncic, the only other player averaging more than 18 points is Christian Wood.

If the team can get can their all-star some help, this would them to take the pressure off Doncic and allow him to play off ball. Some names Dallas has been linked to include Zach Lavine, Immanuel Quickley, and Bojan Bogdanovic. Assuming Dallas pulls the plug, could any one of these player help the team spark another West finals run?

One final area the Mavs must improve on is their ability to defend in the paint. During the offseason, the team signed JaVale McGee and Wood to help solve their rebounding woes. However, one has failed to meet the team’s needs, while the other became more of an offensive force. Aside from Doncic, no one on the team is averaging more than seven defensive rebounds.

Wood is doing a good job on the glass, as he has averaged two or more blocks in four of his past five games.

Next. Dallas Mavericks winning streak taught valuable lesson. dark

If Dallas hopes to become a true threat in the West there is much more they must do. The answer though is simple: Get Doncic Help!