6 Mistakes that doomed the Dallas Mavericks from winning the Finals

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Elsa/GettyImages
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4. Mavericks' lack of a third shot creator

It's no secret that after scoring less than 100 points in four of the five games played in the NBA Finals, the Mavericks lacked the offensive versatility to compete with the Celtics. One reason the Mavericks failed to have a strong offensive impact was due to the Celtics' elite defense with four potential All-Defensive players headlining their starting five.

Additionally, Dallas' inability to consistently make a three-ball hurt them when it mattered most. Perhaps their championship hopes would still be alive if the Mavericks had a third ball handler. Without a coveted third scorer, the Mavericks simply couldn't compete with the Celtics.

Many fans looked towards Hardaway Jr. as being that coveted third scorer but after a lengthy slump that saw him get played off the floor early in the Mavericks' playoff run, Dallas was suddenly left without a third scorer. Mavericks second-year player Jaden Hardy had his fair share of moments in the series win over the Timberwolves but failed to make any legitimate case as being the team's third scorer during the Finals.

Without a third scorer, it left too much pressure on the Mavericks star players to carry the bulk of the offensive load. Role players like Josh Green and Derrick Jones Jr. did their best to accommodate by knocking down open shot attempts consistently, but without a third creator, Boston easily cracked down on any Mavericks sequence to get their role players open looks.

This may not be a discussion worth having had Hardy or Hardaway Jr. stepped into that creator role off the bench, but with the Mavericks packing their bags and being sent home, it's hard not to question where Dallas could have been had one of these players stepped up.

During the Mavericks' offseason it may be in their best interest to shop around the free agent market and invest in a third-shot creator if they believe Hardy is not their man.