The Mavs continue their current road trip by taking on the best team in the NBA on Friday. Having to take on Kawhi Leonard and the Raptors after blowing a 25 point lead to the Hawks on Wednesday isn’t exactly the best scenario to get back on track. But, Dallas will look to hand Toronto their first loss of the season. The Raptors are undefeated so far in this young season, coming out to a 5-0 start, with four of those wins coming at home. Here are three key stats to keep an eye on during the game.
Opponent Field Goal %
The Mavericks are having a hard time on defense this season. One of those reasons is because their opponents are shooting incredibly well. Dallas opponents are shooting 49% from the field and 50% from three. That puts the Mavericks as 29th and 30th in the NBA in opponent shooting percentage, respectively. Allowing your opponents to make half of their shot attempts is not exactly a recipe for success in any level of basketball, let alone the NBA. Toronto is top 10 in both categories this year. The Mavs haven’t played against competition like Toronto yet, and if they let Toronto do what the other teams have done then we will most likely see a Raptors score in the 150’s.
Mavs 3 point %
Rick Carlisle’s offense has really embraced the three point shot this season, for better or worse. Dallas is averaging 43 three pointers attempted a game which is 6th in the NBA. It makes sense, the NBA has moved to high efficiency shots either at the rim or outside of the line. The problem is that the Mavs, so far, are not efficient in making them. The Mavericks three point shooters, so everyone except DeAndre Jordan, are shooting 32% from the three point line. That puts them at 25th in the NBA. They do make 14 a game, which puts them in the top 10. But three pointers that lead to long rebounds ignite a quick fast break that can put an already bad defense on its heels and catch it out of position. Dallas is providing plenty of these opportunities to its opponents. If they can just be a little more efficient from the three point line they can help both their offense and their defense.
Second chance points
DeAndre Jordan has been a blessing to the Mavs. He has filled a much needed offensive rebounding hole that had the Mavs at the bottom of the league last year. Now they are 11th in the league with almost 12 a game. What do offensive rebounds lead to? Second chance points. Dallas is top 10 in the NBA with 15 second chance points per game. They are also great at limiting opponents second chance points with only 8.3 per game, good for 2nd in the NBA. The Raptors don’t have many weaknesses but this is one the Mavs need to exploit. Toronto allows 15 second chance points per game to opponents. They also only score 12 second chance points which puts them at 21st in the NBA. An extra rebound that creates an extra basket for the Mavs and eliminates an extra shot for the Raptors can be the difference between Dallas going home with a W instead of an L.
The Dallas Mavericks take on the Toronto Raptors on Friday, October 27th at 6:30 PM central time on Fox Sports Southwest.
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