5 things casual fans need to know about the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Thing casual fans need to know about the Dallas Mavericks: 2. Live and die by the 3

The Mavs have defeated some of the best teams in the NBA this season, but they also have multiple head-scratching losses. Dallas has lost to several teams without their two best players and fallen to the Thunder, Magic, Wizards, Rockets, Pistons, and Bulls. If fans are keeping track, there are ten teams outside the play-in tournament on Christmas morning, and the Mavericks have lost to six of them.

Their maddening results are a byproduct of their reliance on 3-point shooting. Dallas takes 41.4 3-point attempts per game, which ranks third in the NBA, but they are 14th in percentage at 35.9 percent. 40.2 percent of their points come from threes, which ranks second in the NBA, and the Mavericks are 30th in percentage of points coming from inside the paint.

Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie are the only two players that can consistently attack the rim and score. The other players need to be set up in the paint or are spot-up shooters. Luka is the best player in the world at creating open 3-pointers, but shot variance creates some wild results for the Mavs.

Head coach Jason Kidd has not been shy about the team’s reliance on 3-point shooting this season. When they are making their shots, they can defeat any team in the league, but the inverse is true if their jumpers are not falling.