The Dallas Mavericks are good but they can be much better. Here are three keys to second-half turnaround
The Dallas Mavericks began their second half of the season Thursday with a win against the San Antonio Spurs. Now, all the team has to do is continue pilling up a series of victories and they should be title favorites, right?
You see the West is so stacked that any given day the team has to ability to position from fourth to eight in the conference. Compared to the rest of the league, Dallas has the 7th best odds to host the Larry O’Brian trophy.
Contenders or not, the Mavs must have a triumphant second half season if they hope to make another deep playoff run.
Here are three keys to a successful second half:
1. Use Schedule to Advantage
Before the all-star break, Luka Doncic and the team went on a three game losing streak. Some loses included defeats against top West teams such as the Denver Nuggets and Sacramento Kings. However, that could all change as they have one of the easiest schedules, according to NBA.com.
Stats show that 13 of the Dallas Mavericks 22 games remaining are against squads below .500.
The biggest issue will be finding connection between Doncic and Kyrie Irving. If both players can get back on track, then the team should have no issue taking advantage of their remaining games.
Dallas did its job beating the Spurs. Now, onto the next 21 games.
2. Solve Big Man Woes Now
Ever since the departure of Tyson Chandler, Dallas has struggled to solve their big man issues down low. For starters the team averages 13.7 rebounds, a league worst.
Second, they are ranked as the second worse team when it comes to points in the paint. Oh and who can forget they standings as a bottom five squad in blocks per game.
So what’s the issue?
Honestly, it’s a variety of things. Remember in the summer, Dallas acquired both JaVale McGee and Christian Wood to solve their issues down low. Yet, that plan has seemed to sail. Currently, McGee is lucky if he plays more than eight minutes a game. As for Wood, coach Jason Kidd has been hesitant in starting the Mavs’ third best player.
The answer for this seems simple: Get Wood starter minutes!
We all know Dwight Powell is not it, and the team must find a permanent solution soon.
3. Use Veteran Assistance
One thing that made the 2011 Mavs team so successful was they lineup of notable veterans. Fast forward to now, and the team has just four players over 30: JaVale McGee (35), Justin Holiday (33) Markieff Morris (33), and Reggie Bullock (31). Both Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kyrie Irving sit right at the 30 mark.
Between the first four names mentioned above, Bullock is the one player to average over 10 minutes a game. Well now you can include Holiday’s name on the list after last night’s game.
While the trading deadline has passed, Dallas has the ability to add more veteran presence through free agency. Just two weeks ago the team was linked to seven-time all star Lamarcus Aldridge. Something that might worth keeping an eye.
But if that falls through, they are plenty of other veteran big men on the market including: Carmelo Anthony, Avery Bradley, former Mavs Trey Burke and Kemba Walker, and Serge Ibaka.
Basically the Mavs have two options when it comes to veteran presence –
- Play the players you have now or
- Add notable free agents now!
Whichever route Dallas chooses, the answer is simple – get back on track.
With six weeks left of the regular season, Dallas must turn its attention to winning basketball.
In Doncic we trust!