4 Areas the Dallas Mavericks will need to improve upon after All-Star break

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks
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The Dallas Mavericks have put themselves in great position to make a run toward the top six seeds in the Western Conference by the time the NBA Playoffs roll around, as Dallas has won six straight games heading into the All-Star break. The Mavericks acquired the likes of P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford at the trade deadline and they've played in Dallas' last three victories ahead of the break.

Gafford and Washington's impact for the Mavericks has been extremely noticeable already, as both players have made an immediate impact from a rebounding and defensive perspective in just three contests for the Mavs so far. As we've stated all season, Dallas' biggest holes were their lack of bigger-bodied wings as well as a backup center, and they addressed both of those issues through the additions of Washington and Gafford.

4 Areas the Dallas Mavericks will need to improve upon after All-Star break

However, there are still many areas that the Mavericks can still improve upon before they head into the playoffs, even if only marginally. Many of Dallas' remaining issues stem from having not seen their full lineup together due to injuries, or they are issues that are fixable through coaching and effort.

Whether or not these issues get fixed could be the difference in Dallas winning a playoff series, as the playoffs are all about winning within the margins given how high the skill level typically is on both sides. With that being said, here are four areas that the Mavericks must improve once they return from the All-Star break.

4. Minutes allocation and lineup combinations

It's well known that Dallas Mavericks' head coach Jason Kidd has stuck to a decently tight rotation throughout most of the season, but many Mavericks' fans believe Dallas' trade deadline acquisitions will ease the burden of the heavy workload that Kidd has commanded out of his starting lineup this season.

The odd thing about Kidd's rotation is the amount of lineup combinations that Dallas has played this year. Even if the Mavericks are playing a pretty tight eight-man or nine-man rotation, as that has often been the case against most opponents Dallas has played this year, injuries have derailed the Mavericks from having seen any five-man lineup scratch the 100-minute mark together thus far.

Dallas' most played five-man lineup this season is Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Derrick Jones Jr., Grant Williams, and Dereck Lively II. That combination has only played 99 minutes together this season, and Grant Williams isn't even on the Mavericks' roster anymore. As much of an impact as P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford have had for the Mavericks thus far, Kidd still hasn't fully optimized the rotation involving them nor the lineup combinations he can use with them either.

While it's understandable that Dallas may need some time to figure out their most effective lineups since they just made some roster moves, the Mavericks don't have much time to figure this out before the playoffs with only 27 games left in the season. Luka Doncic has been playing a career-high 37.4 minutes per game this season as well, so Jason Kidd will need to be cognizant about over-extending Doncic in meaningless minutes for the rest of the season to ensure he isn't dragged down by the playoffs.

The Mavericks have some young talent in their two-way department that they should consider playing down the stretch of the season as well, especially when you take into consideration that Dallas has the tenth easiest remaining schedule in the league.

Kidd shouldn't sabotage Dallas' rotation by playing Olivier Maxence-Prosper extended minutes for instance, but throwing players like that some minutes in easier contests could go a long way toward ensuring Dallas' roster is healthy during the playoffs and their young players get to develop at the NBA level.