Mavericks need to improve play against lesser opponents next season

Last year, the Dallas Mavericks struggled against lesser opponents, and they can't afford to have that same issue this season.
Dallas Mavericks, Mavericks schedule, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Mavericks schedule, Luka Doncic / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks' full 82-game schedule has finally been released, and there are many matchups for them to look forward to. Some of the best include their season opener against San Antonio Spurs and rookie Victor Wembanyama on October 25, Kristaps Porzingis' return to Dallas on January 22, and Grant Williams' first home game back in Boston on March 1.

While the Mavericks have plenty of games that will be easy to get up for, one of the teams' biggest issues last season was their inability to stay poised and consistent through tough stretches. The Mavericks would often bring energy for marquee matchups but fail to do so against teams under .500.

The Mavericks had a slew of terrible losses last year. From stinkers against the Oklahoma City Thunder after holding a 16-point lead to back-to-back losses against the Charlotte Hornets, who were severely undermanned, the losses were brutal.

Mavericks need to improve play against lesser opponents next season

Dallas has plenty of "trap" games sprinkled in throughout the tougher months of the upcoming season. If they wish to change the narrative from last year, they cannot let unfortunate losses bring them down. 

Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and other team leaders will need to emphasize the importance of every game this season. Fair or not, young players will look at the actions and behaviors of their team leaders and role models for a sense of direction throughout the rough portions of the season.

We don't always know what goes on behind closed doors in the Mavericks locker room, but based on various responses to the media last season, the "immaculate vibes' culture the Mavs built throughout the 2021-22 season was all but gone.

Even when times get rough, Mavericks players can't abandon their sense of accountability, especially if they don't want a repeat of last year, and it starts from the top down.

If the Mavericks can take care of business against lesser opponents, it will help them avoid having to fight tooth and nail for a playoff spot late in the season. Losses against lesser opponents happen, but the Mavericks need to respond better and ensure that they don't pile up.