Way Dallas Mavericks can fix their clutch woes: 3. Rebounding
Working hard for the entire 24 shot clock on defense and then allowing an offensive rebound is one of the most deflating occurrences for an NBA team. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, they are 27th in rebounding percentage in the clutch. Their total rebounding percentage is 43.9, which means Dallas secures less than half the available rebounds with less than five minutes to go and the score within five points.
On Feb. 1, the Mavericks were leading by two points when Chris Paul missed a layup. The Suns secured an offensive rebound, which eventually led to a game-winning 3-pointer by Devin Booker.
On Wednesday night against the Hawks, Kristaps Porzingis was subbed out with three minutes left and a ten-point lead. Coach Carlisle brought him back with 32 seconds remaining and the Mavs up three. KP scored off an offensive rebound to essentially ice the game on the ensuing offensive possession.
Twice this week the Mavericks have played in clutch games, and both times an offensive rebound played a pivotal role in the outcome. The Mavericks clutch lineups must include KP and Maxi Kleber. Part of the issue has been conditioning due to injury and COVID, but with everyone healthy, the team’s second and third-best rebounders must be on the court.
While size helps Porzingis and Maxi secure boards, it is not the only factor. Physicality and effort are a must. The Mavs need everyone fully focused on boxing out and securing a rebound late in games. The top five teams in clutch net rating all have a total rebounding percentage over 50 percent, and the Mavericks should strive to achieve that.
Next: No. 2