Dallas Mavericks Fans Should Be Proud of Tanking Method
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks lost once again tonight, this time at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets. And, yet again, the game was close right to the bitter end. Although it is not fun to watch your team lose, it’s at least nice having an entertaining team.
It’s not fun losing games. It will never be fun losing games. But when losing is in the supposed best interest for your team, it becomes even more daunting. That is, unless you learn how to lose like the Dallas Mavericks.
This year, Dallas has been probably the worst team in the NBA during crunch time. In fact, according to NBA.com, they are. Crunch time is defined as less than 5 minutes remaining in the game, with the score within 5 points. This can happen at any time during the final five minutes and it will qualify as a crunch time game.
The Dallas Mavericks have played 45 such games so far this year. That is good for fourth in the NBA (behind Miami, 49, New Orleans, 46, and Brooklyn, 46). Despite playing in significantly more crunch time games than most teams (the league average is 38), Dallas is tied for the fewest crunch time wins in the league with 10, the same amount that Memphis has in only 37 crunch time games.
The Mavs like to keep things interesting. There may not be a better example of playing to the level of your opponent than Dallas this year. Against teams that are currently below .500, Dallas is 9-15, while they are 13-36 against teams above .500. Despite the records, Dallas has played some great games against some good teams.
The Mavs beat the Toronto Raptors in the teams first meeting this season and they went to overtime the 2nd time. Dallas may not have beaten Golden State or Houston in their mathcups, but they lost by only three to the Warriors in their third matchup of the year and lost by only 7 in two of the games against the Rockets. Some of the best Mavs games were the two against Boston, where Dallas lost each but kept it close to the bitter end.
The point I am trying to make with all of these stats is that the Mavs have chosen to approach the tanking situation in the right way. Almost every game is still entertaining, the Mavs love to keep it close, and they make these playoff teams sweat when they come to the AAC. That is a little more entertaining than seeing the Memphis Grizzlies lose an NBA game by 61 points.
Competitiveness is such an important element in the NBA and, if Dallas were to lose their competitive edge, it could have lasting consequences. For now, just be entertained by the Mavs ability to play with the best of them as well as the worst of them at any point. It may be confusing and it may not give the perfect result every night, but it sure does get people moving in the right direction.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Kings of the Post Draft Scramble
Dallas may fall victim to an ugly loss, but they are also going to give it their all every time they step on that court.