Who should surround Luka Doncic in the Mavericks closing lineup?

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have struggled late in games this season. They need to makes this their crunch time lineup. A look at all the reasons why.

The Dallas Mavericks have the best offensive rating in the NBA by a wide margin this season. Their 116.3 points per 100 possessions is a historically great number. They are ridiculously difficult to stop.

That is until it gets into the crunch time of a close game. At that point, the Mavs kind of fall apart. Their offensive rating in clutch time as defined by NBA Stats is 94.6 which ranks 27th in the NBA. Only the Pistons, Hawks, and Pelicans are worse. The Mavericks are a young team trying to figure out how to win close games, but they need to better if they plan on making a playoff run.

To make matters worse, they allow 114.5 points per 100 possessions in clutch time which ranks 25th in the league. They are struggling on both ends of the floor when it matters most. It explains why they have just 12 wins in their 30 games that factor in the numbers.

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The Mavs have figured out their new crunch time lineup, though. Luka Doncic should be running the point and leading the offense. They need to maximize the spacing around him. Kristaps Porzingis should play the five and anchor the defense. The remaining three positions are filled by Seth Curry, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

Coach Rick Carlisle has been using this lineup in recent games to both start and finish games. It is helping Dallas win close contests.

Let us examine all the reasons this is the best late-game lineup for the Dallas Mavericks.

Next: Offense