Over the past several weeks, the Dallas Mavericks have been extremely successful, which has come with a refreshed mindset. The Mavs have won ten of their last 12 games, proving to be one of the hottest teams in the NBA.
The grind of an 82-game season can take a toll on teams mentally. When things aren’t going well, it’s extremely hard to get back on track. However for the Mavericks, after a slow start they’ve been able to string together a crucial batch of wins.
Following a game against the Phoenix Suns, Dallas forward Kristaps Porzingis was asked if his perception of the team has changed at all throughout the season. To him, it certainly has.
“Definitely,” said the 7-footer. “It’s like a swag thing. We have the same guys, but if you start to build something, it develops a little more sauce. We have moments like that and that is a cool feeling to be a part of a team like that.“
While the composition of the core roster hasn’t changed, the Mavs have finally gotten healthy and are playing well together. Most importantly, they’re playing together as a team.
Since the roster hasn’t changed much in Dallas, what’s gotten them back on track?
Confidence & Grit
While it’s difficult to get back on track in the middle of a season, it’s sometimes easier to ride momentum. When teams are able to find ways to put together wins and take each game one at a time, winning streaks can form.
The Suns are a great example of this, as they put together 18-straight wins earlier this season.
While the Mavs aren’t at that point right now, they’re playing with a high level of confidence. This has been one of the main reasons they’ve looked like a completely different team of late.
Dallas guard Jalen Brunson talked about this following a recent game against Phoenix.
“Yeah, definitely it [confidence] is a plus for us. I think going forward for us, we’re in a good space, little step back tonight. As long as we stick together, I think we’ll be alright.”
Confident teams play well on both ends of the floor and at any location. This has proven true for the Mavericks over the last 12 games, as they’ve emerged as one of the best teams in the NBA.
This grit has been huge for them, as they’ve got a winning record both at home and on the road.
Time & Chemistry
A team playing well together takes time. As chemistry begins to form, the roster only continues to mesh even better.
A team with a few new faces on the roster relative to last season and a brand new head coach at the helm, the Mavs have gotten better as the season has gone on. This is something they’ll hope to continue, as NBA teams want to be at their peak when right around the time the postseason comes around.
Dallas is on track to do just that, assuming all goes right. Health will be key for the Mavs the rest of the way, especially with Porzingis and Luka Doncic.
Additionally, if the Mavericks shake things up at the Feb. 10 trade deadline, their ceiling might be raised but could also set back some of the chemistry that has been built.
Regardless, the confidence and chemistry the Mavericks are playing with right now has led them to a ton of recent success.