Dallas Mavericks continue to shows signs that they are dangerous contenders

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have 12 games left in the season. These next couple of matches will be crucial as Dallas tries to stay out of the Play-In Tournament.

The team seems to understand the task ahead of them as the Mavs have won seven of their past eight games. They are riding a three-game winning streak, that started with a victory against the Denver Nuggets. Kyrie Irving hit a game-winner Nikola Jokic to help seal the deal.

Since then, the team has also picked up victories against the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz.

Dallas Mavericks continue to shows signs that they are dangerous contenders

So what makes the Mavs so special? Could they be in for a late playoff run? Just how serious is Jason Kidd's team?

For starters, it all starts with the Mavs' new centers this season. Daniel Gafford and Derrick Lively II have done an excellent job adjusting to their roles on the team.

When Dallas traded for Gafford, Kidd allowed Lively II to remain the team's starter. However, the team has changed up the lineups in the past eight games with Gafford moving into the starting role.

This is a move that has worked in Dallas's favor. Gafford is averaging 14.9 points per game, nine rebounds, and 2.3 blockers as a starter for the Mavs. In his most recent performance, Gafford put on a scoring clinic as he dropped in 24 points on 90.9 percent shooting. The Mavs' center has scored double-digit points in eight of his last nine games.

Lively II on the other hand has also done well in his new role. He has grabbed five or more rebounds in four of his last five games. The Mavs' rookie is also averaging 9.7 points per game in March. This is important for Dallas, as the team has two dominant centers that can perform at a high level.

This is something that stands out from the past. Last season, the team went through different centers as players like Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, JaVale McGee, and Christian Wood all saw time at the center position. Now, they have two primary big men who are interchangeable.

Other positive notes this season have been Luka Doncic's and Kyrie Irving's production. Since Irving's return from injury, the Dallas duo has been dominant. Doncic has averaged above 32 points per game and nine rebounds over the past two months.

Irving too has been a dominant scorer, averaging above 23 points per game, while shooting 48 percent or higher from the field. The balance between him and Doncic is at an all-time high, as the team has produced a 122.0 offensive rating with both players on the court.

The health of both players will be important for the team down the stretch. The team performs well with Doncic and Irving on the court. So, the Mavs will need their production to help go on a deep playoff run.

Yet, the biggest sign has been the team's chemistry. Look at the connection and praise the players have for one another. For example. Doncic has done well this season establishing chemistry with his teammates. The Mavs' star has a keen eye for finding the open man, as teammates know exactly where to be.

Just watch the pass to Derrick Jones Jr. The Dallas forward does a great job reading Doncic and understanding his placement.

Coach Kidd best understands the team's chemistry. He mentions the players' connection with each other and the encouragement they bring.

"The character of the guys are great. They're a lot cooler. It's incredible. They all cheer for one another. "

Jason Kidd

Its clear to see why the Mavericks are serious playoff contenders. The team performs well on both sides of the court, as the players bring their flare to the game.

If the team can continue performing at a high level, the sky is the limit for Kidd and the Mavericks.

Stay tuned for the latest updates on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the rest of the Dallas Mavericks.