Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks win over Hawks: 5. Defense
The defense remains an issue. The Mavericks have won three straight on the back of grabbing the upper hand in shootouts. They have allowed 116 or more points in five straight and ten of their last 12 games. Only two teams in the NBA average over 116 points per game on the season, meaning the Mavs are turning every opponent into the best offense in the league.
John Collins torched Dallas again. He finished with 33 points on 13 of 18 from the field in 38 minutes of action. The Mavs did their best to slow down and keep the ball out of Trae Young’s hands, but he still produced 25 points and 15 assists on Feb. 10.
Dallas has the pieces, but they need to get their defense figured out. They allowed 27 or more points in every quarter against the Hawks. The Mavericks snuck away with a 118-117 win, but it will be difficult to replicate. Despite the winning streak, their defense will be a talking point in the days ahead. Dallas gave up too many free throws and open shots on Wednesday night.
The Dallas Mavericks will not be serious title contenders until their defense improves. It is something to watch in the days and weeks ahead.
Next: No. 4