Dallas Mavericks: Will their home struggles carry over to playoffs?
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the LA Clippers in the first two games of the series to take a commanding lead. Superstar Luka Doncic has been incredible and his supporting cast stepped up to take both games in Los Angeles.
The series shifts to Dallas for the next two contests. The Mavericks could finish off the sweep with two straight wins. Game 3 is massive. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA. The Mavericks have a chance to virtually put the Clippers on ice on Friday night.
Dallas finished the regular season 21-15 at home, but a late charge to avoid the play-in tournament saw them win eight of their final nine contests at the American Airlines Center. On April 20, the Mavericks were just 13-14 on their home floor. Will those home struggles carry over to the postseason?
Will the Dallas Mavericks’ home struggles carry over to the playoffs?
The Mavs were worse on both ends of the floor at home during the regular season. They produced a 113.0 offensive rating, which was significantly below their 114.6 mark for the season. Dallas slipped from 112.3 for the season to 112.9 on the defensive end at home.
A lot of factors play into the team’s regular-season numbers. They had a significant stretch where COVID-19 put multiple players on the sidelines. The Mavericks also played without Kristaps Porzingis for the first nine games of the season, and the condensed scheduled forced some wild results.
Winning eight of nine down the stretch should quiet the noise of their home woes. Dallas did finish the season with identical records home and road. They were 13-11 at the American Airlines Center against teams that made the postseason, including teams in the play-in tournament, but that was after winning just one of their first six. The Mavericks are ready to face anyone on their home floor in the playoffs.
Will increased fan attendance make a difference for Dallas Mavericks?
The American Airlines Center will be rocking on Friday night. The Mavericks are allowing in 16,000-plus fans for their playoff games. That dwarfs their attendance for their final regular-season home game, which was announced at just under 4,500. The fans will be loud and making life difficult on the Clippers. LA is already on the ropes, so the Mavericks supporters may be able to rattle the veteran group.
It will be the first time the Dallas Mavericks have played in front of a nearly normal crowd since the pandemic halted play last March. It won’t be fully normal. Fans will be masked, but it will be fantastic to see the crowd and the energy they bring. During Luka’s rookie season, the Mavs were 24-17 at home and had just nine road wins. That home atmosphere will be back on May 28 as Dallas looks to go up 3-0 on the favored LA Clippers.
Fans will not want to miss Friday’s game. The rocking American Airlines Center crowd should give the Dallas Mavericks a massive boost as they look to deliver the gut punch to the LA Clippers in their first-round series. Expect Luka Doncic to have another monster performance. Please, enjoy the game.