The Dallas Mavericks are in a bit of nutshell. Over the past four games the team has gone 1-3, after finally overcoming a treacherous three-game losing streak. On Wednesday, the Mavs did just enough to streak by the San Antonio Spurs in a must-win game.
So what’s next for the Dallas Mavericks?
With three and a half weeks left of the season, there is so much stories to break. When will Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving be back? Will Dallas’ fate be determined through a play-in game? Could coach Jason Kidd’s play calling be costing the team?
Let’s break the March Madness that has been the Dallas Mavericks.
Headline 1: The Overall Health of the team
The biggest concern for the Mavs has been the health of the squad. Over the past three games, the team has been without their pivotal all stars: Doncic and Irving. This is something that has been costly, as Dallas fell in back to back games against the Memphis Grizzlies. I think it is without question both games would have been winnable if Dallas had their two stars.
Now the Mavs must look to getting healthy fast. With a must win game against the Los Angeles Lakers, things do not seem promising. It is already reported that Doncic will miss his fourth straight game. Other notable players on the report include Irving, Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale McGee, and Markieff Morris.
Here is a better look at the injuries.
Headline 2: Kidd’s Play calling
Don’t look now Mavs’ fans, but it seems as though Twitter is coming for Kidd’s head. Some of his decision making down the stretch, has a lot of Dallas junkies shaking their head.
Just look back at Wednesday’s game against the Spurs. In the finals seconds of the game, he had Maxi Kleber inbound the the ball, something that he has never down before. This would lead to a costly turnover, allowing San Antonio to force overtime.
This wasn’t the only instance either. Look back at his play calling down the stretch. Valuing Dwight Powell at center has been costly, especially when asking him to guard players such as Deandre Ayton and Jaren Jackson Jr.
Compare the numbers, and we all know Wood deserves to be a starter. While, his defense is inconsistent at times, his numbers are a stretch over Powell .
Also, go back to the February 26th game against the Lakers. In the match, Dallas blew a 27 point lead.
When asked why Kidd didn’t call timeouts when LA made a run, Kidd’s response was basically he doesn’t play.
Headline 3: Youthful Impact
If there is anything positive about Doncic and Irving being out, it is that Josh Green and Jaden Hardy have stepped up when called upon. In three games Green has scored 21(twice) and 23 points, while Hardy has dropped 28 and 22 points.
Both players became the first duo under 23 years old in team history to score 20 plus points in three straight games.
Their performance hasn’t gone unnoticed, as teammates like Powell has praised the two for their efforts. He went on record to say that both players have done a great job stepping up when needed.
Headline 4: Where is the defense at?
The Mavs’ recent struggled can be attributed to their efforts on the defensive end. Leaguewide Dallas is ranked 23rd in terms of defensive rating. Compared to the West though, the team ranks just 10th.
Some areas Dallas comes short in includes: defensive rebound (where they rank 29th), steals (where they are 25th), blocks (where they are 28th), and opponent’s points in the paint (where they are 20th).
Against the Spurs the other night, the Mavs allowed their opponent to drop in 60 points in the paint. Other stats include the Spurs winning the steal battle by three.
This comes as a tough blow, as Dallas traded away their best defensive player Dorian Finney-Smith.
Headline 5: Playoff Seeding
Right now Dallas is in the mix when it comes to the NBA playoffs. Currently they sit at the eight spot in the West, and tied with the Minnesota Timberwolves for seventh.
Other key areas include them being one game ahead of the Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder for the 9th and 10th spot.
Not to mention they are also one game back from sixth and two games back from fifth.
With matchups against the Lakers, Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors on the horizon, Dallas will their work cut out for them.
Like the great Jim Mora once said, “Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!”