Dallas Mavericks: Sitting at 30-24

Luka Doncic needs the defense and rebounding of the team to improve to go deep this postseason.
Photo Courtesy: Dominic Ceraldi

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

It’s 5 weeks until the NBA starts the 2021 race for the NBA Championship. Dallas is currently sitting in 1st place in the Southwest division and 7th place in the Western Conference. Dallas is 7-3 in their last 10 games, they are jelling at the right time. Dallas is a very talented, but strange team. Some nights they look like a team that will challenge for the conference championship and other nights they look as if they just met each other at the gym for some pick up games. There are two things that the Mavs needs to tighten up before the playoffs. Defense is one and rebounding is next. Let’s take a closer look at both areas where the team needs to get better.

Dallas is giving up an average of 109.7 points per game. The difference between a win and a loss is only 1.6 points per game. That can easily be one play in the fourth quarter in every game. For example, Dallas beat Memphis by 1 point this past Wednesday. The Mavs gave up a lay up with 10.7 seconds left in the 4th quarter. If PF Maxi Kleber would have taken one step into the paint, it would have changed the dynamics of that game. Luka Doncic hit a lucky three pointer to win a game that they basically gave away because of the lack of defensive efforts during the latter parts of games.

Dallas is a better team on the road than at home. Dallas is 13-12 at home while being 17-12 on the road. They rebound better away from home, averaging 12 rebounds away and giving up 11 at home to opposition. The difference is two key rebounds! Dallas has five 7-footers on their team, but their 6’9 point guard (Luka Doncic) is leading the team in that category. Dallas has to concentrate more on grabbing more rebounds on both ends to give their offense a chance for second chance baskets. Poor rebounding will be this team’s downfall if they don’t get tough on the boards.

Dallas Upcoming Games
Fri: 4/16 – New York Knicks
Sun: 4/18 – Sacramento Kings
Wed: 4/21 – Detroit Pistons
Thur: 4/22 – LA Lakers
Sat: 4/24 – LA Lakers
Mon: 4/26 – Sacramento Kings
Tue: 4/27 – Golden State Warriors