3. Backcourt Defense
Few teams are as gifted as the Mavericks when it comes to backcourt offense. Doncic and Irving are two of the most creative players with the ball in their hands and can put on a show on any given night.
Unfortunately, the duo's defense leaves much to be desired. They're decent defenders when they're off the ball, but their on-ball defense is another story.
The Mavericks' lack of credible backcourt defenders beyond Doncic and Irving also helps. Curry isn't exactly known for having stellar defense while Jaden Hardy needs to prove that he's ready for an expanded role. The jury is also still out as to whether or not Exum is still an everyday NBAer.
Defense wins championships and the Mavs can't afford to ignore their lack of backcourt defense for long. Their lack of consistent play in their own end resulted in a 116.1 defensive rating — good for sixth-worst in the Association.
Everyone across the board needs to play better defense this season, but addressing the backcourt's shortcomings is the first step to getting there. If the Mavericks remedy this weakness, the results will follow shortly.
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