In fact, their offensive and defensive rating are both identical at 108.8, as their net rating is exactly +0.0 on the season.
With that in mind, the shorthanded Mavs have won four of their last seven games, which is a promising sign considering who they’ve been able to put on the floor.
Over this span, Dallas’ four wins have primarily come from playing solid defense. They’ve held their opponents to 102 or fewer points in each of these last four victories.
How important is defense for this Mavericks team? How can that impact their offense?
Playing the Numbers
To this point in the season, the Mavs are 11-3 when holding opponents under 105 points. This has been a clear recipe for success, as defensive efficiency has resulted in wins.
Dallas played its best defensive basketball in October at the beginning of the season, where the team started out 4-2. During that span, the Mavericks were a top-ten defensive team. They had a 103.7 defensive rating, which carried them to victories despite a poor 99.3 offensive rating that month.
The Mavs have lost every game this season in which they haven’t scored 100 points. Unfortunately for them, they’ve failed to eclipse 100 points nine times this season, which is nearly a third of their games to this point.
Through all of the inconsistencies this season, the Mavericks have shown they can be a good offensive and good defensive team. However, they’ve been unable to do both at the same time.
How could they turn this around?
Defense to Offense
Many teams are able to fuel their offense from playing solid defense. This is something the Mavericks were able to do in their win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.
After the game, Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson spoke to how important it is to feed off of both ends of the court.
“I think the best offense comes from great defense and run,” said Brunson. “That is the best offense. Not just for us, but around the league. If we are able to do that it kind of makes the game easier and simple. I don’t think we really have to dumb it down.”
This is something the Mavs have struggled with all season. When their defense is clicking, the offense still struggles. To this point, they’ve produced just 15.3 points per game off of turnovers, which is in the bottom third of the league.
On the flip side, defense can feed off of offense when a team is confident. It’s all about energy transition, according to Kristaps Porzingis.
“Even the games we haven’t been great offensively, it’s mostly because we’re not just making shots and it carries over, our energy carries over, to the defense,” said Porzingis earlier this month.
For this team to get where they need to be and play consistently, it starts with defense and figuring out how to allow that to fuel the offense.