The Mavericks have perfected modern offense
Points in today’s NBA aren’t exactly hard to come by. The pace, officiating, and concepts that circulate throughout the league make for a more-than-hospitable environment for offense.
But there is still something to be said about being quite literally the most efficient offense in NBA history, which the Mavericks are at 117.4 points per 100 possessions. Almost two full points higher than Steph Curry’s Warriors.
The spacing is impeccable, the actions are effective, and there is a clear understanding in the analytical value of each shot.
Perhaps what makes the offense so lethal though, is it’s three pillars: Luka Doncic’s creativity, Kristaps Porzingis’ shooting/spacing, and Rick Carlisle’s wizardry. Plenty of other guys play important roles, guys like Hardaway and Curry, but the aforementioned three names anchor the juggernaut.
If the top four teams had a say in who they got to play first, I’d bet the Mavericks are at the bottom of that list. With an offense like this, it would be no surprise.
The defense, however…
Perfectly balanced, as everything should be. Am I right?!
No, but in all seriousness, the Mavericks need to clean up the defense and soon.
They don’t exactly have elite personnel on that end, so there will always be some limitations, but if they want to survive a long, grueling playoff series it has to improve.
Their middle of the pack as far as where they stand league-wide, but have been on a slow decent down the rankings.
Unquestionably their biggest issue is the inability to limit dribble penetration. It’s the death of defense at any level of basketball and the Mavericks have allowed too much of it since about December.
You can also tell how much they value the three point shot, as in they want to limit it as much as possible.
Naturally, that presents a conundrum: If you don’t guard the ball, but want to limit three-point attempts, where does that leave you? It would seem the answer to that question is with layups. Lots of them.
So, whether scheme or personnel, the Mavericks have to get it figured out if they want to make a deep playoff run. Because if they do, we know their offense can carry them.
MKG can make a difference for this team
This was only Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s third outing in the lineup and it was the first time he had really popped.
There was a sequence in the second quarter in particular that stood out to me. MKG switched onto every T-Wolve on the floor, got a deflection disrupting their possession, and topped it off by making a great rotation and sealing the possession with a block.
That displayed the energy and defensive talent the team is lacking.
Now, he is still a huge liability on offense and doesn’t quite understand where to be. He has gotten in the way of several possessions offensively, but that is to be expected. He’s in a brand new situation and is limited on that end to begin with.
But if the Mavericks can get his offensive role down, he can really make an impact for them. It will be interesting to see how Carlisle tries to make him work.
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