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1 advantage Dallas Mavericks have over every team in Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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Dallas Mavericks advantage over Houston Rockets: Defense

The Rockets had the worst defense in the league last season as they allowed 116.4 points per 100 possessions. Houston had the third worst defensive rating in the last ten years, and their only addition that could improve it is number one overall pick Jabari Smith Jr. The 6’10 forward out of Auburn projects as a plus-defender, but expect some rookie growing pains.

It will take a massive improvement for Houston to be even average defensively. Consider this, if the Rockets allowed four fewer points per 100 possessions than last season, which is a significant amount, they still would have finished 21st in defensive rating.

The Mavericks made a massive defensive turnaround under head coach Jason Kidd as they went from 21st to seven in defensive rating last season. The Hall of Fame point guard found a system that works, and Dallas is looking to be top five in defensive rating this season with JaVale McGee’s added rim protection and rebounding helping Dallas take another step forward.

The Mavs should be closer to leading the league in defensive rating than to the Rockets, who are projected to finish near the bottom. How do McGee and Christian Wood factor into the Mavericks' defense? No matter the outcome, Dallas will have a better defensive rating than the Rockets this season.