The Dallas Mavericks have gone this season from being in the 13th seed in the Western Conference to clinching a spot in the NBA playoffs.
“That is great you know,” said Luka Doncic. “Obviously, I remember earlier when we were in the 12th or 13th spot, and everybody had us out of the playoffs. But now we have made the playoffs and it is good.”
This was a troubling season for the Mavericks for numerous reasons. Dallas had to encounter many setbacks, including players being out due to COVID protocols. Key players like Kristaps Porzingis, Maxi Kleber, and more being out due to injury or illness-related reasons.
Players that have missed the most this season:
|Player||# Games missed|
|Tim Hardaway Jr.||4|
|Dorian Finney- Smith||3|
Unfortunately, coronavirus and team injuries were not the only major setbacks for the Mavericks 2020-2021 season. The 12th seed Sacramento Kings gave Dallas a whooping each match up. As soon as Dallas was on a winning streak, Sacramento would come in to shake it all up. Losing to lower-ranked teams has been a common theme for this season.
“We’ve had struggles against teams with poor records all year long,” said coach Rick Carlisle. “It’s something we’ve got to grow from and get better from.”
Although Dallas had a rough season, the team was able to turn it around for the better. Tim Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and even rookie Josh Green have proven to be an important role in Dallas’ recent success. Now, more than ever the Mavericks need to work as a team and play to their full potential.
“It’s awesome being able to clinch, especially the way we started out. It was rocky,” said Jalen Brunson. “But we have guys who knew what this team was capable of and we stuck together. We were able to keep fighting through. Just kept pushing. Kept trying to get better. Kept sticking together through the tough times.”
Luckily, the Mavs escaped the Play-In Tournament and will face the fourth seed Los Angeles Clippers in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. Dallas was able to defeat the Clippers 124- 73 in December, lost 99-109 March 15th, but came back and beat them two days later 105-89 on March 17th. So, it is safe to say that the Mavericks have the skill needed to beat the Clippers and move forward in the playoffs.
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