3 things the Dallas Mavericks need to fix after their 1-2 start

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jason Kidd / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks have lost two of their first three games to open the 2022-23 regular season, despite Luka Doncic averaging 34.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 block per game. The 23-year-old superstar is in shape and ready, but the team has not matched their leader’s play thus far.

The Mavs could easily be 3-0. They held a 22-point edge over the Suns in the third quarter before collapsing late, and Dallas allowed 40 points in the opening quarter to a shorthanded Pelicans team in a game they lost by just two points as Doncic missed the game-winner at the buzzer. After adding Christian Wood and JaVale McGee this offseason, the Mavericks are still figuring out their preferred rotations and what works on the floor.

Dallas wants to make another deep playoff run, but they must play better to make that a reality. Where do they need to improve? Here are three areas.

Thing Dallas Mavericks need to fix after 1-2 start: 3. Clutch woes

The Mavs have played two clutch games in their first three, and they lost both. They have a negative-40 net rating over the ten minutes, which ranks 25th in the league. Dallas was 25th last season, despite winning 22 of their 38 games in clutch time.

Teams are going to double Luka Doncic late in games, and other players need to step up. Head coach Jason Kidd likes to finish with defensive lineups, but the Mavericks were 27th with a 117.8 defensive rating in clutch situations last season.

Dallas needs to figure things out, so they can finish off these close games with wins. They must find ways to get Luka Doncic going, and others need to step up when the opposition sells out to stop the 23-year-old superstar.