5 takeaways from the 1st half of the Dallas Mavericks regular season

Dallas Mavericks, Christian Wood, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Christian Wood, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Takeaway from 1st half of Dallas Mavericks regular season: 3. Live and die by the 3

The Mavs have defeated the Grizzlies, Nuggets, Nets, and Pelicans in the first half of the season. That is all three top teams in the Western Conference and the second-place team in the East. Dallas has also lost the Rockets, Pistons, Magic, Raptors, and Thunder. Those are four of the teams with the eight-worst records in the NBA on the morning of Jan. 10.

The maddening results are partially to blame on the team’s 3-point dependence. Dallas takes 41.0 3-pointers per game, which is the third-most in the league, but they connect on just 35.8 percent or the 14th highest-mark. When the Mavs get hot from downtown, they can defeat any team in the NBA, but when those shots are not falling, Dallas is likely to lose.

Luka Doncic and company play at the league’s slowest pace, and they shot the fewest 2-pointers in the league. Dallas has the highest 3-point frequency by one full percent. Doncic is the only player that consistently creates shots inside the arc for himself, which makes Dallas totally reliant on hitting outside jumpers.

The Dallas Mavericks are a feared opponent because of Luka Doncic. Teams know he is going to create a ton of open looks for his teammates, but can they cash them in? Expect the Mavs to continue living and dying by their outside shooting. Dallas hopes to get hot in the postseason and make another deep playoff run. Stay tuned to see if they can accomplish it.