The Dallas Mavericks are seven games away from their third straight playoff appearance. As of late, the team has been on fire as they've won 11 out of their last 16 games behind smart basketball and late-game heroics.
Throughout the season, the Mavs have leaned on their depth to deliver big-time wins. Entering the playoffs, there aren't many too many things more important than a team's health and depth.
Right now, the Mavericks have both, to a certain extent. Head coach Jason Kidd was not optimistic about Tim Hardaway Jr. returning this season, but the role players have committed to the "next man up" mentality and have delivered on that approach.
With everyone stepping up and making a difference on a team that is sure to make some noise in the playoffs, let us take a look at the five most important Mavericks heading into the 2022 postseason.
Most important Dallas Mavericks in playoffs: 5. Davis Bertans
The importance of size has deteriorated as the NBA has trended toward a more shooter-friendly style of basketball. This has made traditional big men practically obsolete and emphasized shooting ability. If there's one thing newly acquired forward Davis Bertans can do, it is knock-down shots.
So far, Bertan's time in Dallas has been a roller coaster. His minutes have fluctuated, and he's been dealing with a nagging knee injury that forced him to miss three games. However, there seems to be a pattern when it comes to the shooting volume of the six-year NBA vet.
In the 15 games that Davis Bertans has played for the Mavericks, he has shot three or more 3-pointers nine times, and the Mavericks have a record of 7-2 in those games. He doesn't always have to make them, he just has to pose as a threat from the outside to spread the floor and stretch the defense.
This creates open driving lanes for his teammates and frantic closeouts from the opposing defenders. All he has to do is show that he's confident in his outside shooting and make the defenders have to stick to him.
The bottom line is, when the 29-year-old known as the "Latvian Laser" shoots the ball, his team wins the game. In the playoffs, this is going to be crucial. As long as he can stay healthy and shoot the basketball, the Mavs will be in a good position to snag some big victories in April.