Dallas Mavericks: How and why the Mavs make it to the playoffs

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks are hoping to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Here is how and why the Mavs qualify this season.

The Dallas Mavericks are part of the crazy Western Conference this season. They are currently the 13th seed but have a better record than the eighth-seeded Hornets in the east.

However, there is no use in complaining. The Mavericks are only 2.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Lakers. With a quick winning streak, they could be back in the playoffs.

Not Tanking

The Mavericks organization showed that they wanted to win now during last summer’s NBA draft. Although the first-round pick that was traded away is top-five protected, there is a very small chance Dallas keeps it. There are nine teams with a worse record than the Mavs right now (from team’s that won’t make the playoffs).

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Many NBA fans around the league want their teams to tank for big-name prospects including Zion Williamson and R.J. Barrett.

While it is important to build through the draft, Luka Doncic has shown he is the generational talent that can take a team to the next level. The Mavs have got their guy, and the most important thing right now is to help him develop and to build around him.

Making the playoffs would be extremely valuable in the development of Luka, DSJ, and our other young players. It would give them a taste of the higher stakes and increased competitiveness that the postseason bring.

Luka has shown to be exceptionally clutch, as can be seen in crucial moments during games. He is 10-13 in the last two minutes on shots that would either tie or give Dallas the lead. Bigger moments only help him play better, and that is exactly what will help the Mavs succeed in the future.

Making the playoffs would also prove to free agents that Dallas is a team with serious potential. The Mavericks are in a position to spend a lot of money this summer, and big name free agents will be looking for teams that will be ready to take the reins from Golden State.

Improvements Needed

There are some steps the Mavs could take that would improve our chances for making the playoffs.

Better 3rd quarters

Dallas ranks 26th in the NBA at 25.7 points per third quarter (per teamrankings.com). In the other three quarters, they are an average of tenth in the league.

This drop in scoring is where the Mavericks usually lose their leads. There could be many reasons why it’s happening, but it’s definitely an issue that needs to be addressed.

More playing time for Maxi and Doe-Doe

Maxi Kleber has been the Mavs best paint protector this season. He’s averaging 1.2 blocks, which is more than Jordan’s concerning 1.1 per game. He’s also doing this in 16 minutes per game less than Jordan. The Mavs have been able to win four out of six games with Kleber starting this season, with the two losses in close games.

Dorian Finney-Smith is also an exceptional defender who has improved his shooting. He is extremely versatile and can be seen guarding multiple positions every game. His hustle is underappreciated, and he also deserves more time on the court.

Final Thoughts

With these changes and other minor tweaks, the Dallas Mavericks may be able to sneak into the playoffs. Although it may seem useless to get in and then face a behemoth such as Golden State, the intangible benefits are plenty.

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The playoffs are a whole different beast. With some real experience under Luka, Dennis, and the rest of the crew’s belt, and a big free agent signing this summer, the Mavs could be in position for a serious run next season.