Dallas Mavericks storyline to follow this season: 4. Can they jump into top 4 in the West?
The Mavs have been knocked out in the first round of the playoffs for two straight years, and badly want to end their decade-long drought of failing to advance further. Luka Doncic is one of the best players in the world, but Dallas must set themselves up for postseason success.
Last season, the Mavericks finished fifth in the Western Conference and lost Game 7 on the road at the Staples Center to the LA Clippers. Inside the bubble, Dallas was the seventh seed and had to take on the second-seeded Clippers. The Mavs gave LA problems until Kristaps Porzingis injured his knee and missed the final three contests. Dallas needs to win more regular-season games to set themselves to make a run.
The Western Conference is wide open this season with injuries to Kawhi Leonard and Jamal Murray sideling them for a significant portion of the regular season. Can the Mavericks pass the Nuggets or Clippers to make their way into the top four in the conference? Grabbing homecourt in the first round of the playoffs could be massive.
Will the Dallas Mavericks put greater emphasis on every regular-season game this season under new head coach Jason Kidd? Is it enough to vault them into the top four in the West? It will be something to watch closely.