Dallas Mavericks: Are They Unraveling?

Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

The Dallas Mavericks are sitting at 8-12 on the young season. Last week at this time they were 7-7 and sitting in 3rd place in the Southwest. This week the team is in 4th place one game a head of the surging New Orleans Pelicans. In their last 10 games the Mavs are 2-8 with a 5 game losing streak. What can the team do to turn everything around and get back on the winning path? Well let’s take a look at three things that could turn things around for the team. Defense, key players and rotation will be the focus on turning it around. 

Defense Wins Championships
Dallas is giving up 110.8 points per game on the defensive end. Costly second chance baskets in the 4th quarter costs this team almost every night. While losing very winnable games, Dallas is scoring 108.7 points per game. This is a difference of 2.1 points between winning and losing. One key defensive stop per game and the team would be 13-6 easily. Dallas is 6-7 on the road and 2-5 at home. Turning it around sounds easy, but with a concerted effort on playing sound defense first would change the fortune of the Mavericks in their next three games.

Key Players
Here is my list of players that will make the difference in winning and losing for the Mavericks. Willie Cauley-Stein is up first. He is the defensive stopper that can control the defensive end. He’s averaging 9 rebounds and is on the defensive end during crucial parts of the 3rd and 4th quarters. SG Tim Hardaway, Jr. has the task of guarding the best player on the opposite team. Being under sized, Hardaway would need help in defensive rotation. He’s been caught in the paint lately defending power forwards. PG Trey Burke needs more playing time. He’s very tough defending on the wing. PG Luka Doncic has to trust his team more. He has to limit his turnovers down the stretch and shot selection is key.

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation
I’m not big on the current rotation. When Luka is being Luka, his shot selection gets streaky. This is the time you bring in Trey Burke to run the offense and allow Luka to see the game from a different point of view. When Trey enters the game, you bring in Jalen Brunson to play along with him. They play great together because they play tough defense when they’re in the game. The Mavericks are shooting 38% as a team from the 3-point line when the starters are in, but 43% when the reserves take the floor.

The Next 4 Games
2/1 – Dallas vs Phoenix
2/3 – Dallas at Atlanta
2/4 – Dallas vs Golden State
2/6 – Dallas vs Golden State