Mavs Lead

Where the Mavs Stand Now

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This season for the NBA has been unique in a number of different ways. For the Dallas Mavericks, the same could be said for their season too. With things currently halted for basketball, how does the Mavericks season pan out so far?

It’s been noted before, but the Mavericks have far exceeded the expectations they had at the beginning of the season. At best, they were going to be a borderline playoff team fighting for the 8th seed. More realistically, the goal looked to be to improve upon the previous year while building team chemistry.

The team has played 67 games to date. They have 40 wins and 27 losses, good for second in the Southwest Division and 7th in the Western Conference. If the season ended today, this would stand as the best record they’ve had since the 2015-2016 season.

They are four games behind the third seed and 10 and a half games ahead of missing the playoffs entirely, with 15 games left to play to close out the season. While they are tied with the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in the win column, it’s the loss column that creates separation in the standings.

THE REMAINING SCHEDULE

The playoffs are a forgone conclusion, the probability of the Mavericks losing 10 out of their next 15 games, while the 9th seeded Portland Trail Blazers make up that ground is very small. Currently, the ire of the Mavericks fanbase is a hope that they can somehow advance in the standings in an attempt to avoid the Los Angeles Clippers, who currently sit in the second seed.

The Mavericks only play one more back-to-back series and it will be their next two games when the season resumes. They’ve also played more games than any other team in the Western Conference. If the league decides to play out the remainder of the season, they’ll play fewer games than every other team in their conference.

Only seven out of the 15 games left are against an opponent with a winning record. Two of those games will be against the Houston Rockets where the Mavericks have split the season series so far. If they can find a way to win both of those games, they have a real shot at winning the division.

THE HEALTH OF THE TEAM

This break in playing will actually work to the team’s benefit. Luka Doncic has been dealing with minor ankle and thumb injuries, and the hope is that he will be fully healed and ready to go. That is, if he isn’t causing too much strain on his thumbs from playing video games.

Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t played in back-to-back games all season in an attempt to load manage from the previous injury he sustained two seasons ago. With this extended break, he should be fresh and available for the rest of the season. This time off will also benefit Seth Curry, who like Doncic, had also been dealing with an ankle injury.

Jalen Brunson will now join Dwight Powell in being out for the year. He sustained a hard foul from Dewayne Dedmon in the opening seconds of the game against the Atlanta Hawks on February 22nd. That foul resulted in a torn labrum and the loss of the rest of the season. The foul wasn’t even reviewed to see if a flagrant should be assessed. The MFFL community is still salty about it.

WHERE IT ALL STANDS

The Mavericks have been punching above their weight class all season long. The expectations have been met, and exceeded, now it’s time to move the goal posts. No longer should fans be content with just learning and developing this season.

This team is a playoff-bound team who has struggled to close out games all year. It’s easy to say, “well, things are better than we hoped for, so it doesn’t matter how they finish.” However, the truth is if this team could fix some of their mistakes, they would have a real shot at making some noise in the post season. We’re looking at you free throw shooting, late-game turnovers, and failing in the clutch.

As of now, it’s hard to believe they’ll advance past the first round. With a fully healthy squad, who is intent on not repeating the pattern they’ve set for themselves, the Mavericks can advance in the standings. They can also, with the right match-up, advance to the second round if everything is clicking.

At the end of the day, this season is going to be a success. How this team responds when things get tough will determine how successful it could be. For the rest of the Mavericks season, the ball is definitely in their court.

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About Charles Allen

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