5 Massive strengths, 5 weaknesses for Mavericks heading into playoffs

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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The Dallas Mavericks only have four games remaining on their schedule after going through a roller coaster of a regular season. The Mavericks have dealt with injuries to key players for prolonged stretches, inconsistent rotations within their lineups, as well as multiple players being traded at the trade deadline just within one calendar NBA regular season.

However, Dallas has stood extremely tall against adversity this season, as MVP candidate Luka Doncic and co-star Kyrie Irving have done an outstanding job of leading the charge for the vastly improved post-trade deadline Mavericks.

The scorching Mavericks have won 15 out of their last 17 contests, and have placed themselves in prime position to secure the fifth seed in the Western Conference as well as a chance at the 50-win mark, something that seemed almost outlandish just a few weeks ago when Dallas had lost five out of six games right after the All-Star break.

5 Massive strengths, 5 weaknesses for Mavericks heading into playoffs

As much momentum as Dallas currently has, we all know the playoffs are a different animal, so perhaps it's a good time to analyze the Mavericks' greatest strengths and weaknesses heading into the playoffs. As well as the Mavericks are playing most of their weaknesses aren't too detrimental, but unfortunately, the playoffs are all about winning within the margins, so the Mavericks must be extremely prepared for what's to come.

Without further ado, here are the Mavericks' five greatest strengths, and five weaknesses heading into the playoffs.

10. Weakness: 3-point shooting off the bench

The Dallas Mavericks made their mark early on in the season as a live-and-die-by-the-three type of team, but after the trade deadline Dallas' self identification as a team has certainly changed. Don't get it twisted, Dallas is still an above-average team from downtown, as they currently have the 11th best 3-point team percentage in the NBA at 37.3 percent for the entire season.

However, there are certain gaps within the Mavericks rotation where reliable 3-point shooting isn't near as prevalent as it was at the beginning of the season for the Mavericks. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, but one of the more noticeable reasons for Dallas' drop off in 3-point shooting outside of their starting-five is Tim Hardaway Jr.'s massive shooting slump earlier this season.

Hardaway Jr. is finally starting to revert back to the mean ever so slightly in terms of his 3-point shooting over this recent stretch, but the 31-year-old guard was far more of a consistent force from outside earlier in the season for Dallas. The Mavericks are also currently missing Josh Green due to an ankle sprain, and while Green projects to be back before the playoffs, it may be tough for him to come in guns-a-blazing in terms of picking up where he left off with his 40.1 percent clip from downtown on the season.

After parting with Seth Curry at the trade deadline, the Mavericks have been left without a true marksman off the bench, something that they'd like to have in their back pocket come Playoff time regardless of how Curry played for Dallas earlier this season. Dante Exum has been extremely consistent from 3-point range, but he's not a high-volume shooter, unfortunately.

The Mavericks are particularly dense in terms of their 3-point shooting off the bench right now, but that could easily change if Dallas starts shooting better across the board ahead of the playoffs. The Mavericks can get by with lackluster shooting in the surrounding lineup to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving when both stars are on the floor, but it will be vital to the Mavericks' success in the playoffs that they can shoot well enough when only one of their stars is in the game.