Have the Mavericks Really Proven Anything?

Luka Doncic

Getty Luka Doncic drives into traffic against the Chicago Bulls.

The Dallas Mavericks have a record of 7-4, which is good for fourth in the Western Conference. As great as that sounds, the Mavs haven’t been as good as their winning percentage would suggest. 

To this point in the season, they only have one victory over a team with a winning record, and that team only got over .500 last night. Additionally, against the good teams Dallas has played, they’ve lost by a wide margin. 

While the Mavs have been really good on offense over the past few years, they’ve really struggled this season. To this point in the season, their offensive rating of 104.7 is 22nd in the NBA. They haven’t been much better on the other end of the floor either, with the 18th best (107.8) defensive rating in the league. 

Overall, this has resulted in Dallas having the ninth worst net rating of any team at -3.1 in the 2021-22 season. 

The Mavericks just haven’t been very impressive this season, regardless of who they play on a given night. Win or lose, they aren’t the consistently dominant team they have the potential to be. 

The Wins

The six teams that the Mavericks have defeated this season have a combined record of 28-54. Outside of the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics, every win has come against a team that projects to be a lottery team at this point. 

  • Toronto Raptors (7-6)
  • Houston Rockets (1-10)
  • San Antonio Spurs (4-7)
  • Sacramento Kings (5-7)
  • San Antonio Spurs (4-7)
  • Boston Celtics (5-6)
  • New Orleans Pelicans (1-11)

While it’s great to take care of opponents you should beat, many of these victories haven’t been convincing. Dallas often comes out slow and has to pull off comeback wins against teams they should defeat with ease. Against the Spurs earlier this season at home, the Mavs started the game down 16-1. 

Of their seven wins this season, the Mavericks have only won one game by more than ten points. These contests have simply been much closer than they should have been. 

Boston is the best team the Mavericks have beat to this point in terms of overall talent, and it took a miraculous game-winning shot by Luka Doncic to get that win. 

The Losses

On the flip side, each of Dallas’ losses has come against opponents that are clear playoff teams. In each of these four losses, the Mavs have been essentially blown out. 

  • Atlanta Hawks (4-8)
  • Denver Nuggets (7-4)
  • Miami Heat (7-5) 
  • Chicago Bulls (8-3)

In the contests the Mavericks have lost this season, it’s been by an average of 20.5 points per game. This includes losses of 31 and 26 points early in the season. 

Luka Doncic

GettyLuka Doncic doesn’t agree with a call against the Atlanta Hawks.

Struggling on both offense and defense, Dallas has a lot of work to do. With plenty of time left in the season to turn things around, there shouldn’t be any need to panic quite yet. The Mavs have also dealt with injuries, but still haven’t looked great even when their core pieces are all active on the floor. 

If the Mavericks are truly going to make a splash in the playoffs this season, they’ll need to rise to the occasion against the league’s top teams. To this point, they haven’t notched many impressive wins. 

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