Dallas Mavericks: Examining late game struggles and how offense changes

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks: Examining crunch time struggles and how offense changes late in games

The Dallas Mavericks could not have asked for a better offensive start to their seeding games in Walt Disney World. Houston had no answer for anything Dallas did in the first three quarters. Luka Doncic and the Mavs put up 119 points entering the fourth while shooting 57.4 percent from the field.

Then, things fell apart. An old problem (maybe more than one) reared its ugly head. The Mavericks offense fell apart in the fourth quarter. They scored just 20 as the Rockets erased an 11-point deficit to send the game to overtime. Houston eventually walked away with a 153-149 overtime win to begin the restart for both teams.

The fourth quarter and crunch time struggles were not new for the Mavs. They produced the highest offensive rating in NBA history before play was suspended in March. They scored 115.8 points per 100 possessions. In the fourth quarter, that number slips to 109.6. It drops to 92.9 in what the NBA deems “clutch time”. That means the game is within five points with five or fewer minutes remaining.

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Examining the Dallas Mavericks struggles in crunch time and how their offense changes

It seems impossible that their offense is the best in the league until the game is on the line when Dallas becomes one of the worst. Watching the final quarter against the Rockets back shows a few areas where the Mavs offense changes which could be leading to their crunch time struggles.

Let us take an in-depth look to determine what is ailing the Dallas Mavericks late in games.

Next: Slow things down