The Dallas Mavericks are in an interesting situation with a lot of defensive weapons but not necessarily great defensive numbers. What do we take from the unclear situation in Dallas right now?
It is no secret that the Dallas Mavericks made an emphasis on improving their defense this offseason. Adding players like Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, and Dorian Finney-Smith while keeping the likes of Wesley Matthews, Justin Anderson, and Salah Mejri.
Unfortunately, the Mavs have started the season with a 2-8 record, including 4 games in which the opponents broke 100 points. A lot of times, this would be a cause for concern, but I think that we can see the improvements in the defense past the statistics and numbers.
Here are just a couple reasons the Mavs are still an excellent defensive team, despite the unclear results they have given us thus far.
In the NBA, it is so hard to have only a good offense or only a good defense. Every aspect of the game is important and work hand in hand. When the offense is good, the other team has to focus more on their defense, which can effectively slow the pace of the game as well as the offensive attack of the other team.
Same goes when the defense is good. If you can create bad shots, transition offense, and turnovers from the other team’s mistakes, it gives you the chance to strengthen your presence on the offensive end of the court.
The Dallas Mavericks really do have a great defensive group with Barnes, Bogut, and Matthews. Add in DFS, Simba, or Dwight Powell with that group and the Mavs have a 2-5 group that can control the defensive end of the court.
But without some scoring help, Dallas can’t slow down every team they play against. For this reason, the Mavs really are a better defensive unit than they are currently or will get credit for until the offense figures something out.
Dallas is young and youth tends to have its ups and downs. The Mavericks are not used to having such a young team that needs the kind of refinement that this squad does. With all this youth, growing pains are the nature of the beast.
As the team grows stronger together and learns the ways of the NBA better, things will improve. The NBA is such a difficult league with teams having good days and bad days so it is hard to have a defense that is on the ball every single game.
That being said, the Mavericks have a good chance to be one of the stronger defensive teams in years to come if they can hold on to these young players.
Obviously this is not the beginning of the season that we expected for the Mavericks, but it doesn’t have to stay this way. Keep an eye on the team for the next few months and improvements will undoubtedly be made.