The Dallas Mavericks are locked in an intense battle to avoid the play-in tournament with two weeks left in the regular season. Only the top six teams in each conference advance directly to the playoffs this year. Teams seven through ten will battle it out over three games with the two winners advancing to the postseason. Fans can get the specifics here.
Entering play on May 3, Dallas is tied for fifth in the Western Conference with the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers. One of those three teams will be taking part in the play-in. Luka Doncic is going to do everything he can to lift the Mavericks out of it, but expect there to be plenty of drama over the final eight games.
The Mavs entered the season intending to finish in the top four in the West and host a first-round playoff series. They are going to fall short of that mark. Injuries and COVID issues have played a key role, but they are not the only things behind the team’s disappointment.
3 Dallas Mavericks that have failed to meet expectations this season
The Mavs made this list a bit more difficult following their trade to acquire J.J. Redick at the deadline because James Johnson and Wesley Iwundu both failed to meet expectations in their short stances in Dallas. Redick is still working his way back from a heel injury, so it is too early to judge his performance.
Dallas has had multiple players exceed expectations this season too. Luka Doncic has improved significantly. Jalen Brunson is having a third-year breakout. Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber have both taken another step forward.
The Dallas Mavericks are in danger of slipping into the play-in tournament because these three players have failed to meet expectations this season.