The Dallas Mavericks opened the 2022-23 season with seven wins in their first 12 games, but it has been a wild start that could be painted multiple ways. Superstar Luka Doncic has been outstanding and leads the league in scoring. The Mavs are a few lucky bounces from being 10-2 or a couple unfortunate ones from sitting at 3-9. There have been a lot of close games and some baffling results, including playing down to inferior competition.
After 12 games, the Mavs are top ten in both offensive and defensive rating, and sit sixth in net rating on the morning on Nov. 15. Those are hallmarks for a contending team, and Dallas wants to build on last season’s run to the conference finals. Luka has been incredible, but it is not all sunshine and rainbows for the Mavericks.
A few worrying trends are developing from their early season play. 12 games is still a small sample, but here are five issues the team wants to get a handle on quickly before they become full-blown problems.
Worrying Dallas Mavericks trend to watch: 5. 3-point shooting
The Mavs leaned into shooting threes and taking shots near the basket in last season’s playoffs. They attempted 41.5 3-pointers per game, which was by far the most of any team, and it helped them reach the conference finals. Luka Doncic loves to attack the paint and spray the ball out to shooters.
So far this season, the Mavericks are taking 38.3 threes per game, which is the seventh most in the NBA, but they are making them at a 34.3 percent clip, which ranks 18th of the 30 teams.
Dallas needs to get a handle on their outside shooting, and it starts with Doncic. He is shooting just 28.6 percent from 3-point range in the first 12 games. Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, and Maxi Kleber are all under 33.4 percent so far. Each of those players expects to shoot over 38 percent, but the shots are just not falling yet.
The good news is the Dallas Mavericks are creating plenty of open looks. Expect the team to regress to the mean, and the threes will start raining into the basket soon enough. Dallas should be in the top 12 in 3-point percentage by the end of the season.