Statistical diagnosis of the Dallas Mavericks failed season

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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It isn’t breaking news that the Dallas Mavericks had a tough season. Missing the play-in tournament after making it to the Western Conference Finals last year is a huge disappointment, but why did it happen?

Most basketball fans know Dallas needs to improve defensively, but taking a deeper look into the team stats from this season, especially the advanced stats and per 100 possessions numbers, shows that the Mavs need much more than just defensive help if they want to start contending for championships while Luka Doncic is still under contract.

They need improvements across three phases of the game, offense, rebounding, and defense. A deep dive on Basketball-Reference shows the Mavs were worse than we thought.

Dallas Mavericks must make offensive improvements

Offensively, the Mavericks appeared to be a great team on the surface. They finished the season sixth in points per 100 possessions (116.8), averaged the second-fewest turnovers per 100 possessions (12.5), had the third-highest percentage of their 3-point attempts coming from the corner (27.1 percent), and were fifth in the league in effective field goal percentage (56.5).

Interestingly, the Mavericks were the only team inside the top 12 of eFG% that did not make the playoffs. So, what’s the issue?