Mavs Continue to Slide Down Standings

Luka Doncic

Getty Luka Doncic attempts a floater in a game against the New Orleans Pelicans

Over the past few weeks, the Dallas Mavericks have struggled. As of today, they’re just .500 on the season with a record of 11-11. 

If the skid continues much longer, the Mavs are looking at falling outside of the current playoff picture. 

In its last ten games, Dallas has won just three contests. Since their big win over the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 15, the Mavericks have a bottom five record in the entire NBA at 2-7.

Why have the Mavericks struggled so much this season?

Injuries & Home Struggles

Injuries have held the Mavericks back all season. While nearly every team experiences this over the course of an NBA season, Dallas really hasn’t been fully healthy at any point in the season outside of opening night. 

In a recently loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas lost its second consecutive game. The Mavs were without both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, who are the best two players on the roster. 

With that loss, the Mavericks are now 0-4 this season without Doncic in the lineup. Dating back to last season, Dallas has also lost its last four games when both Doncic and Porzingis don’t play. 

Luckily for the Mavs, these injuries aren’t projected to keep their superstars out long. 

Outside of these two facing injuries this season, center Willie Cauley-Stein has missed four-straight games, albeit for personal reasons. Additionally, Frank Ntilikina and Maxi Kleber have both missed fairly significant time throughout the season as well. 

This loss to the Grizzlies marked the fourth-straight loss at home for Dallas. After starting the season as one of the best teams at home, the Mavs have struggled to win at the American Airlines Center. 

“You can get discouraged when you’re not playing well at home,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said postgame. “I think the mental part is strong because it would be easy for them to let go of the rope, having the built-in excuse of no Luka and no (Porzingis) and end up losing by 20. But those guys that were in uniform fought and gave themselves a chance to get back in the game.”

Between injuries and playing poorly at home, the Mavs have slipped down to .500 on the season. 

Poor Shooting 

Whether it’s at home or on the road, healthy or injured, the Mavs have shot poorly all season. After relying on their offense to win games the past two seasons, the offense just hasn’t been there early in the 2021-22 season. 

Dallas is in the bottom third of the NBA in quite a few shooting categories this season. The Mavericks are 22nd in overall shooting (44.3%) and 3-point efficiency (33.9%). They’re also 28th in the league in free throw shooting at 72.4% on the season. 

This has resulted in an offensive rating of 107.2, which is 19th in the NBA. 

Kristaps Porzingis

GettyKristaps Porzingis posts up the New Orleans Pelicans.

When key players are out, things only get worst for the Mavs. When without one of Doncic or Porzingis, guys like Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson are forced to step up as the only other players on the team averaging double-digit points. 

As good as those guys are, they can’t carry the Mavericks offensively against the best teams in the NBA. 

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