If there is one area of the Mavs game that can be directly linked to all of the woes of the season so far, it is free throw shooting. Dallas has been really bad at the charity stripe and there is simply no excuse for it. Currently shooting 73.5% from the free throw line, the Mavs have the 23rd worst percentage in the league. That wouldn’t be so terrible if it weren’t a team full of shooters.
So far, five Mavericks players have shot at least 12 free throws on the year: Luka, Kristaps, Dorian, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson. THJ is shooting the best percentage by far at 83.3% or 10-12. After him is Luka who has hit 31-40 or 77.5%, which is an improvement from last year. Then we get into the issue.
Porzingis is next on the list at 22-32 or 68.8%. KP is a career 80% free throw shooter and is missing shots in big moments. That is a serious concern for Dallas and they need to get it figured out soon.
Finney-Smith doesn’t shoot as many free throws, generally, but the way he has been attacking the offensive glass, we could see him at the line more frequently. He is 9-14 so far this year, or 64.3%. Dodo has never been a great free throw shooter, but this one needs to get fixed as well, as he has never been shooting this low.
The worst of the worst, however, comes from Jalen Brunson who has only hit half of his 14 free throw attempts. There is simply no excuse for a point guard to be shooting 50% from the line, no matter how small the sample size.
In the Mavs two-point loss to the Blazers, they missed 9 free throws. In the overtime loss to the Lakers, they missed 7 free throws. They missed 10 against the Nuggets, 7 against the Pelicans and 6 against the Wizards. If Dallas is going to be able to close tight games, it is going to have to come at the free throw line.
These are just a few areas of concern for the Dallas Mavericks in an otherwise amazing start to the season. They are just a few seconds away from being 5-0, but the growth they can go through to overcome these losses is going to be important for this young, relatively unproven team.