How much have the Dallas Mavericks fallen into the new NBA offense?

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have been a high-volume three-point shooting team for many years, but the new NBA is so focused on the three-ball that the game is changing across the league. Are the Mavs following suit or creating their own path?

For as long as I can remember, the Dallas Mavericks have been a high-volume three-point shooting team. Or at least what was considered high volume in the year that it happened. It was really at its peak in the early years with Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash. In 2002-03, the Mavs had the 2nd highest total three-point attempts in the league, behind only the Paul Pierce/Antoine Walker led Boston Celtics.

As the years went on, the Mavs continued to stay in the top half of the league in three-point attempts almost every season. This was true despite a couple coaching changes from Don Nelson to Avery Johnson to Rick Carlisle. Despite the changes, the Mavs offense never missed a beat from behind the arc.

The actual jump in sheer volume of three-point attempts across the league over the years is pretty astounding actually. If you go back just ten years to the 2007-08 season, the Golden State Warriors led the NBA in three-point attempts with 2,185. That amount stayed pretty constant right up until the 2013-14 season when the Houston Rockets shot 2,179 long balls.

Last year, Houston led the league once again in three-point attempts with 3,470 threes. That is a jump of almost 1,300 threes in a season. The Mavs, incredibly, were not far behind in the development. In 2010-11, the Dallas Mavericks shot 1,768 total threes. By last season, they shot 2,688. This is not nearly as big of a “live or die by the three” mentality, but you can see the focus shifting.

On some NBA teams, the three-pointer is shot almost as many times as a two-pointer. For the Mavs, it is closer to a 2:1 ratio, but it is still significantly more than it was just 7 years ago. The shift in the NBA is not just in some areas, it is across the league. The Mavericks are by no means immune to it and it shows in the numbers.

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After losing some important three-point shooters this season, it will be interesting to see just how much the Mavs are shooting the long ball. You would think it would go down, but don’t be surprised if it goes up once again. That is just the way the league is going.