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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2. Weakness: Transition defense

Despite how athletic the Mavericks are across the board, transition defense has been one of the Mavericks' most longstanding issues all season. This can be attributed to a variety of factors, but Luka Doncic complaining to referees and not getting back on defense is certainly part of the problem for the Mavericks despite Doncic's greatness.

Doncic's complaining in tandem with the Mavericks not showing enough effort to get back on defense after turnovers and long misses is the largest reason for this development, but the problem was certainly worse before the trade deadline. The Mavericks have been able to propel their transition defense to 17th in the NBA for the entire season, a far better mark than they displayed earlier this season.

The Mavericks increased athleticism that they added at the trade deadline has been one of the reasons that they've been able to recover quicker in transition recently, but it has also taken a team-wide effort to do a better job at hustling to get back on defense. With as talented as NBA players are nowadays, even 5-on-4 scenarios are extremely advantageous for NBA offense in today's league, so the Mavericks must ensure their effort is consistent across the board in terms of hustling back on defense once the playoffs arrive.

We can give Dallas credit for performing better in this area recently, but they still haven't shown that their transition defense matches the caliber of athletes that the Mavericks have, as they could arguably have some of the best transition defense in the entire league with their personnel. Hopefully the Mavericks continue to improve upon this area, as there are plenty of teams that will be in the Western Conference playoffs that like to get out and run.