The Dallas Mavericks had a magical start to December as they broke out of their slump with one of the best shooting performances in league history. Superstar Luka Doncic led the way with 28 points and 14 assists as the Mavs dominated the Pelicans in New Orleans by shooting 68.7 percent from the field.
Dallas is 11-9 after 20 games and sits fourth in the Western Conference, but they have still lost five of their last seven. The Mavericks had been struggling before Wednesday’s win, but now is the time to turn things around.
The schedule softens this month, despite Dallas playing 16 times over the 31 days. Here is a closer look at their slate with some help from NBA.com.
Dallas Mavericks must take advantage of December schedule
The Mavs are tied for the most games this month, but their opponents have the fourth-worst winning percentage among Dallas’s Western Conference foes. Dallas plays seven times at home and has three back-to-backs this month.
The Mavericks also play eight teams against bottom-six defenses, according to NBA.com. Half of their opponents are among the worst defenses in the league. Dallas jumped from 19th to 15th in offensive rating after Wednesday’s dominating performance in New Orleans, but the team has underperformed expectations. They need to get back on track as the schedule softens this month.
The marquee contest of December is when the Mavericks host the Brooklyn Nets on seventh. It is the early game on TNT as Luka and Kristaps Porzingis battle Kevin Durant and James Harden. Harden is getting back on track after a slow start, and KD sits firmly in the MVP conversation. Dallas swept the series against the Nets last season, but Brooklyn is 15-6 and among the league’s best teams, even without Kyrie Irving.
The Dallas Mavericks also battle the Lakers on Dec. 15 and are in Utah for a Christmas Day game against the Jazz. There will be challenging tests, but overall, the schedule softens this month. The Mavs need to get back on track with Luka Doncic helping them return to one of the league’s top offenses. Stay tuned to see how Dallas performs.