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Analyzing the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 NBA playoffs

Dallas Mavericks in 2022 NBA Playoffs

At the beginning of the season, the general team shuffled, and in the middle of the season, I said goodbye to KP. After this series of operations, the entire team has undergone significant changes in essence, both in terms of play style and lounge atmosphere. Exactly qualitative change, whether it can be realized depends on how far the Dallas Mavericks can go in the playoffs this year…

Before the season, Donnie Nelson, who had worked for nearly 25 years, stepped down as the team general manager, and the champion coach Rick Carlisle, who had coached for 13 seasons, voluntarily resigned, and was replaced by a rookie GM (former Nike North America Sports Marketing Vice President) Nico Harrison, past Coach Jason Kidd, whose winning percentage is less than 50%, and a new coaching team such as Sean Sweeney, Igor Kokoskov, Jared Dudley, etc.

In the middle of the season, Nico Harrison and owner Mark Cuban made a shocking move to sell the team’s second-rounder Kristaps Porzingis (at least from an annual salary perspective) and a second-round pick to Washington in exchange for a rest. Venomous tumor Spencer Dinwiddie and premium shooter Davis Bertans are two well-received bad deals at the top of the league.

At the beginning of the season, the general team shuffled, and in the middle of the season, I said goodbye to KP. After this series of operations, the entire team has undergone significant changes in essence, both in terms of play style and lounge atmosphere. Exactly qualitative change, whether it can be realized depends on how far the Dallas Mavericks can go in the playoffs this year…

Regular season record

52-30 — 4th in the West; 5th in the league

From a personal point of view, Jason Kidd can turn in such a report card in his first year with the team, and I think he definitely deserves to be considered for the Head Coach of the Year candidate. With little change in the main lineup, he has essentially improved the Mavs’ long-standing defensive problems The data is presented in the table, please refer to it a little.

The qualitative change of the Dallas Mavericks’ defensive end
  2020-21 2021-22
points per game 110.2(9th) 104.7(2nd)
defensive efficiency 112.3(21st) 109.1(7th)

The more surprising part is that the Mavericks have gone 20-7 since the trade deadline, beating the Miami Heat, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Mills The Waki ​​Bucks and other playoff powerhouses. I asked, who would have guessed at the time that this extremely negative trading operation could bring such unexpected benefits to the team? All I can say is, don’t underestimate Nico Harrison, the manager’s eye for material selection is really unbelievable.

Pros & Cons

  • (Pros)Pace

The playoffs are the best testing ground for positional warfare capabilities. No matter how fast the regular season pushes the rhythm, in the playoffs, whoever can prudently execute each wave of half-court tactics will be the ultimate winner. Oh, don’t believe it? Organize a table for your reference

CHAMPIONSHIP PACE CHANGES (regular vs playoffs)
Championship regular season playoffs
Milwaukee Bucks (2020-21) 102.85 97.51
Los Angeles Lakers (2019-20) 101.20 97.52
Toronto Raptors (2018-19) 100.51 96.25

Coincidentally, the Dallas Mavericks this season have the slowest offensive rhythm (Pace: 95.64) in the league, and they have already mastered the execution of the half court offensive system. The dual-point (or even three-point) lineup, dominated by Luka Doncic and supplemented by Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie, basically needs to crack defenses such as full switch, zone defense and Blitz The strategy is not difficult, as long as the perimeter shooters can grasp the shooting gap, this team will become the dream of the whole league。

Similarly, the Mavericks’ half-court defense system is also quite mature. The high mobility of Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Dwight Powell will be most valuable when the opponent slows down to fight the position. You must be familiar with the scene of Forcing the main ball to pass the ball after the pinch → the team’s X-Out defense rotates the Closeout three-point shooter → the helper quickly resets → the opponent makes a hasty shot in the Late Shot Clock Situation.

I think the system Jason Kidd built was prepared for the playoffs, and the team must have rehearsed those tactics tens of thousands of times. As for how far the Dara Mavericks can go? It all depends on what kind of performance the players can perform in a high-pressure environment, and whether the coaching team can gain insight into the situation on the field in a short period of time and make the best scheduling decisions.

  • (Pros)Playoff Luka
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Playoff Luka – the big devil you can’t mess with

In his career, he appeared in 13 games in the playoffs, averaging 33.5 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game, while shooting 49.4% from the field and 39.2% from three (if I remember correctly, the first playoffs even struggling with an ankle injury). You must know that the Los Angeles Clippers have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Marcus Morris, Nicolas Batum and other quite physical high-flank defensive players (at least the defensive ability of the first two is beyond doubt), facing such an aggressive defense, Luka Doncic is still able to put up an impeccable offensive performance, which shows how disgusting Playoff Luka is.

After getting rid of the clutches of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Western powers can really limit Luka Doncic’s flank by relying on one-on-one defense. I think only Mikal Bridges is left. The good home is in the league leader in the Phoenix Suns, and the Dallas Mavericks don’t have to worry about encountering that fiery flame for the time being. Now that Jalen Brunson has broken into a butterfly and Spencer Dinwiddie has been reborn, Luka Doncic has two more reliable ball-holding points to keep him in check. Guessing before seeing, averaging 30 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists per game is basically appropriate for Luka Doncic.

Another reason I can have so much confidence in Luka Doncic is that since the star break, he has averaged 30.2 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 8.2 assists per game, shooting 47.3% from the field and 38.5% from three. Pretty hot. If he can carry it all the way to the playoffs…Watch Out! The big devil is coming! (The premise is that his leg injury is not serious…)

  • (Pros)Clutch Games

This season, the Dallas Mavericks have a 22-16 Clutch Game record, which is roughly in the middle of the league. But since the All-Star break, the team’s Clutch Game record is 8 wins and 1 loss, and the Net Rating is a disgusting +43.7. Such an outstanding performance must be attributed to the changes Spencer Dinwiddie brought to the team’s physique.

The reason why the Mavericks have been floating and sinking in the past is precisely because they can’t take the tug-of-war, but everything changed when they took over Spencer Dinwiddie at the trade deadline. His heart is really big enough. When the game is stalemate, he can cut into and tear the defense line to make fouls, and can shoot cold arrows on the outside to kill the game. Not long after joining the team, he relied on the lore three-pointer in two consecutive games to give orders to the fans Impressive self-introduction. After coming to Dallas, he contributed 19 points, 4 assists, 2 interceptions, and 0 turnovers to the team in 26 minutes of Clutch Time, shooting 85.7% from the field and 100% from three-point range, respectively. This is not called Artemis, what is Artemis?

All in all, Keep An Eye On Spencer Dinwiddie, his key-moment synergy with Luka Doncic is definitely one of the highlights of the playoffs when the game is at a stalemate.

  • (Cons)Paint Concerns

The lack of rim protection in the restricted area is the most worrying issue for the Dallas Mavericks. The Phoenix Suns have Deandre Ayton, the Memphis Grizzlies have Jaren Jackson Jr and Steven Adams, the Utah Jazz have Rudy Gobert, the Denver Nuggets have Nikola Jokic, I think everyone can easily wreak havoc in the Dallas Mavericks’ paint, regardless of Roll In rushing to the rim, post up, tip-ups for offensive rebounds, there’s always a way to get Dwight Powell into trouble on the defensive end anyway.

The worst is yet to come. Maxi Kleber, the No. 2 center that the Mavericks rely on most, was left defenseless after the All-Star Game. Averaged 4.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, shot 29.8% from the field and 18.8% from three. From the content of the game, he has no confidence in his shooting. You said that Marquese Chriss and Davis Bertans alone supported the penalty area defense? Please, don’t even think about it. So the worst-case scenario for the Dallas Mavericks would be to have Maxi Kleber replace Dwight Powell’s rest time, but with a four-on-five offense. In the best-case scenario, Maxi Kleber must regain his shooting consistency in the playoffs and limit the opponent’s scoring to a certain extent on the defensive end.

Battle analysis

Dallas Mavericks (4) vs Utah Jazz (5)

Finally, finally, finally no more Dallas Mavericks-Los Angeles Clippers analysis, congratulations, congratulations.

The primary focus of game analysis, I think, is home field advantage. The Mavericks’ record at home this season is 29 wins and 12 losses, and the overall performance is quite impressive. Furthermore, you all know that the Jazz’s home Vivint Arena is the famous NBA’s demon home (high altitude). One of the keys to the series. From the content of this season’s battle, it seems that this is true, both sides have won two games at their home, and the regular season battle has been a 2-2 draw. The Dallas Mavericks will have the upper hand if the series continues into Game 7.

『The Utah Jazz needs 6’1” guys to stay on the court and contribute.』

With this sentence, what I want to express is that the Dallas Mavericks must find opportunities for dislocation singles. The Utah Jazz’s main non-center rotations include Donovan Mitchell (6-foot-1), Mike Conley (6-foot-1), Jordan Clarkson (6-foot-4), Royce O’neale (6-foot-4), Bojan Bogdanovic (6-foot-7) ), these players are lined up, and I really can’t think of anyone who can limit Luka Doncic in a one-on-one situation. Simply put, if the Dallas Mavericks want to qualify in the first round, attacking the Jazz’s poor flank defense will be a task that the team must achieve.

Another advantage for the Mavericks is that the Jazz are quite a 3-point shooting team, averaging 40.3 3-point attempts per game (2nd) and an overall 36.0% (11th) 3-point percentage. Coincidentally, the Mavericks have a special set of three-point closeouts, they only allow opponents to attempt 32.1 three-point shots per game (3rd), and the hit rate can be suppressed at 34.0% (4th), as long as the Mavericks defense line can be normal. Play, I believe the Jazz will play very hard.

As for the calf’s hidden worries, it’s very simple, Rudy Gobert. If there is no way to pull the French high tower out of the penalty area, then I can only say to the Dallas Mavericks, Good luck~. But now there is another worry, Luka Doncic’s injury. If he can’t play healthy, the Jazz’s defensive pressure will definitely be relieved a lot.


In fact, I originally wanted to write about Spencer Dinwiddie in this part. After all, he only played in six playoff games in his career and averaged only 12.5 points and 1.5 assists per game. Talking nonsense, if he plays well, victory will definitely not be troublesome; if he plays poorly, it will be in vain no matter how amazing the regular season is.

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Mavericks’ X-Factor – Dorian Finney-Smith

OK, that goes straight to the topic. When it comes to matchups, I think Dorian Finney-Smith will be the Mavs’ X-Factor in the playoffs. From entering the league to the present, he has made breakthroughs in his personal ability every year and every year, from only defending → practicing bottom corner three-pointers → shooting range to 45 degrees and top three-pointers → Short pick-and-roll handling → Attack Closeout’s small throws, left-handed picks, and small balls, in fact, he has quietly become one of the top 3D wings in the league.

I don’t know if you remember the Mavs-Jazz game on April 6, 2021. On that day, in order to make Rudy Gobert feel at ease in protecting the rim, the Jazz chose to pit Rudy Gobert against Dorian Finney-Smith. Obviously, they did not take Dorian Finney-Smith’s three-point ability into consideration. What happened? Dorian Finney-Smith hit five 3-pointers in a single game, pouring in a career-high 23 points, leading the team to beat the Jazz. Since then, I haven’t seen the Jazz play Rudy Gobert against Dorian Finney-Smith, so maybe it’s a good thing.

And that brings up another point. If the Mavericks have the guts to play a small five against the Jazz, can Dorian Finney-Smith replicate the performance of the day, holding Rudy Gobert down by making open 3-pointers while consolidating defensive rebounds and not giving Rudy Gobert any Second wave attack opportunity. That will be the key to the Mavericks qualifying!

Prediction of the first round results

The Dallas Mavericks eliminated the Utah Jazz 4-2 and advanced to the second round again after a 10-year hiatus!

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