Mavericks Held Back by Road Struggles

Kristaps Porzingis

Getty Kristaps Porzingis catches his breath in a game against the Phoenix Suns.

In what’s been an up-and-down season for the Dallas Mavericks, they currently sit just one game above .500 at 10-9. With that in mind, their struggles have been more prevalent on the road, as the team has generally taken care of business at home to this point. 

In fact, Dallas’ 6-3 record at home is eighth in the entire NBA, while going 4-6 on the road. 

Although the Mavs have struggled at home over the last week, playing in Dallas has kept them afloat and in the playoff picture this season. 

As for the struggles on the road, they’ll have a prime opportunity in New Orleans on Wednesday to add another away win to their resume. The Pelicans are 14th in the Western Conference, being one of the worst teams in the league without Zion Williamson on the floor. 

What’s been the Mavericks’ issue on the road this season?

Home Court Advantage 

The Mavericks have historically gotten a boost from their home crowd, being an extremely tough team to beat at the American Airlines Center. Entering last week, they were among the best in the league this season at home. 

The Washington Wizards handed the Mavs just their second loss of the season in Dallas last week. After the game, Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. commented on what it’s like to play at the AAC. 

“It is always good to get one on the road,” said Unseld Jr. “This place is always a competitive environment. The crowd has been tremendous for years. I was just happy with the way we pulled together. I give our guys a lot of credit.“

Before that game, Dallas’ only loss at the AAC was against the Miami Heat at the beginning of November.

Now they’ve lost two straight games, both at home, to the Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers. 

While playing well at home is important, it’s only half of the equation in an NBA season. The best teams also find ways to win on the road. 

The Mavs were extremely consistent last season, pulling off a 21-15 record both at home and on the road. That hasn’t been the case at all this season. 

Offensive Inconsistency

The inconsistency for the Mavericks this season has largely been on offense. 

At home, they shoot 47.1% from the floor (10th in NBA) and 34.7% from deep (15th in NBA).

On the road, Dallas has shot 40.9% from the field (28th in NBA) and 31.7% from beyond the arc (24th in NBA). 

Luka Doncic

GettyLuka Doncic questions a call made in a game against the Denver Nuggets

These shooting struggles have resulted in a 111.6 offensive rating at the American Airlines Center and a 102.2 offensive rating in away games. 

Overall as a team, the core pieces of the roster have struggled offensively. Their shooting percentages have been generally lower than in past seasons, which is somewhat worrisome a quarter of the way through the 2021-22 season. 

This is especially true for some of the Mavericks’ offseason acquisitions, who were supposed to provide offensive spark and improved shooting.  

While the shooting has been better at home this season, Dallas will need to find ways to keep that consistency in road games. As the season goes on, the Mavs will hope that their shooting splits return back to normal levels. If not, they could struggle the rest of the way. 

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