5 Biggest X-factors for Dallas Mavericks ahead of 2024 NBA Playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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2. P.J. Washington

The Dallas Mavericks made a massive trade at this year's deadline when they made a move for P.J. Washington of the Charlotte Hornets. Dallas' defense was looking rough before the trade deadline and Grant Williams had worn out his welcome.

It was time for a change, and Washington has been exactly what the Mavs need in their frontcourt. As a Mav, Washington is averaging 11.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from downtown. His 3-point shooting hasn't been as good as expected and he has gone through some rough patches, but it has been much better recently.

Washington is shooting 37.5 percent from downtown in the month of April, and he is shooting the ball with confidence. Rhythm and confidence are both keys for Washington, and his shooting is truly something that could elevate the Mavs into Finals contenders or sink them completely.

Due to his importance on the defensive end of the floor, Washington will likely be playing heavy minutes in every single game. He has to make his minutes count on both ends of the floor, and his offensive impact could come down to if he can drill open shots.

This isn't to say that Washington's offensive game is limited to just shooting, but he is someone that teams could leave open and he must show that them doing that would be a mistake.