How cohesion and culture could make the Dallas Mavericks a top 5 defense
On defense, team chemistry makes sure there are no missed rotations, rebounds, or confusion on how to defend a pick and roll. Communicating is a massive part of team defensive success. The Mavs were a tight-knit group last season, but fans got a better understanding of their bond during the hiatus.
The bubble and offseason showed just how much the team truly loves playing together. That togetherness leads to solid team defense, regardless of individual skill. Dallas is currently third in opponent points while holding them to the third-worst field goal percentage and worst 3-point percentage.
The culture shift created by Rick Carlise and players like Luka behind the scenes has placed an emphasis on not taking defense for granted. Early in the season, Carlise sent messages to the team via the media to let them know that poor defensive performance would not fly this year.
Fans can only imagine what was said in the locker room, but since the loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day, the Mavericks are 6-3 and have played tougher. There is more room for improvement as the season progresses too.
Next: Lineup shift