Way Dallas Mavericks can fix their clutch woes: 1. Less predictable offense
The Mavs rank 23rd in pace in the clutch. In the last five minutes of the game, their offense becomes extremely stagnant. The Mavericks turn to a five out and set screens for Luka until he hopefully gets a matchup he likes or can turn the corner.
Every NBA team knows they are going to give Luka the ball, and all five players on the other team can collapse on him. The fact that the Mavericks are last in 3-point percentage does not help, but this was a problem last season even when the Mavericks were an excellent long-range shooting team.
In the short term, the Mavs must roll with their current roster. While adding Zach LaVine, Bradley Beal, or Evan Fournier might help solve this issue, that is not happening in the next few weeks.
Instead, Dallas needs to find other ways to get good shots. Posting up KP at the free-throw line, instead of the low block could help create space. That makes it much harder for teams to double team and allows Porzingis to face up and have a more comfortable shot. His low post game is not his strongest skill, so finding other areas for him to find his rhythm could help the offense.
Also, they need to incorporate Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, or Tim Hardaway Jr. into the offense, instead of Josh Richardson or Dorian Finney Smith. That allows Luka to play more off-ball and confuse defenses. However, changing up the lineup may impact the team’s defensive capabilities.
The ultimate goal would be for Josh Richardson to take over more ball-handling. Having more movement and motion will allow players to take shots in rhythm, exploit matchups, and keep Luka’s legs fresher by lowering his usage rate. The 21-year-old is an MVP candidate and should have the ball down the stretch, but the key is finding more creative ways to get him those shots, instead of a predictable five-out offense.