5 big concerns for Dallas Mavericks come playoff time

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Maxi Kleber
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Maxi Kleber / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Defense is a massive concern for Dallas Mavericks after Kyrie Irving trade

The Mavs reached the conference finals last season on the back of their defense. They were in the top ten in defensive rating during the regular season and carried that over into the playoffs. Dallas held the Jazz to 100 or fewer points in four of the six games in the first round before limiting the Suns to their three lowest-scoring games of the season in round two.

The Mavericks have not been able to replicate that defense this season. They are currently 23rd in defensive rating, and 27th since Feb. 11, which is the first game that Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving played together. Their defensive rating is 120.1 over the last month, which will not get them wins in the postseason.

Personnel is an issue in this area. The Mavs had to trade their best defender to the Nets to land Kyrie Irving, and they were unable to find a replacement. Maxi Kleber now takes over that role, but he has been slow in recovering from hamstring surgery. Reggie Bullock will likely guard the team’s best scorer, but he is slightly overmatched in that role. Dallas is going to struggle to get stops in the playoffs.

Next. 5 Mavs who may not be back next season. dark

The Dallas Mavericks have a lot to be concerned about as the postseason draws near, but Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are going to give them a chance to win every time out. It may take some heroic performances, but do not count out Dallas in the playoffs, and stay tuned to see what this superstar duo can do.