While researching this list, debating other Mavs fans as to what exactly “best-value” constitutes, it was determined that a best-value contract, at least for this particular list, would be any deal in which a player far exceeded the production of their price tag or directly elevated the team to greater success. We also determined that deals acquired by the Mavericks rather than originally signed by the team should not count, meaning 2010-2011 Tyson Chandler doesn’t count, but 2014 Tyson is in the cards since he was finishing out the sign-and-trade deal Dallas signed him to when dealing him to New York post-title. Got it? Good.
Let’s talk about what went wrong and where we go from here
The Dallas Mavericks came out like a house of fire in Game 3, jumping all over the Los Angeles Clippers on their way to a 32-11 lead mid-way through the first quarter. It was at that point a red-hot Luka Doncic took his usual rest period ahead of the second quarter. The game would invariably turn in LA’s favor from that moment onward.
Not a lot of things went right for the Mavericks Friday night after its electric start 32-11 start in Game 3. Not only did the team lose for the first time all season when leading after the first quarter (29-0 previously), Luka Doncic suffered an injury to his neck in the process, stating he felt pain down his left arm. Initial reports Saturday listed Doncic as questionable for Sunday’s pivotal Game 4 matchup, but according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Doncic is a go.
The Dallas Mavericks entered the 2021 postseason having won 12 of their final 16 regular-season games, sliding into the Western Conference’s 5-seed via a three-way tiebreaker with the Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Lakers. Yet few picked the Mavs to win their opening-round matchup against the 4th-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. While LA had beaten Dallas […]
The Dallas Mavericks are matching up again with the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2021 playoffs. Will it be anything like last year though?
In last year’s 4-2 opening-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Luka Doncic was sensational, averaging 31 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 8.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. He did the majority of this without his number two option, Kristaps Porzingis, who had been on an absolute tear throughout the Bubble tournament. Despite his efforts, however, Doncic and his Mavs were simply unable to match Kawhi Leonard’s Clippers, and Leonard was perhaps the biggest reason why.
Last season, the Dallas Mavericks snapped a two-year playoff drought by obtaining the 7-seed in the first season of the post-Nowitzki era. Although they would fall to the 2-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, a team booming with hype thanks to the offseason signing of reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and acquisition of another two-way star in Paul George, Dallas would push the series to six games. They did this without their secondary ball-handler, Jalen Brunson, who was lost to a torn rotator cuff earlier that season, and without Dwight Powell, Dallas’s starting center before a torn Achilles in January. There were other noteworthy absences, including Porzingis after tearing his meniscus midway through the series, but the losses of Brunson and Powell put the Mavs’ backs against the wall before the postseason even began.
Despite Sunday night’s 136-121 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Dallas Mavericks clinched the Western Conference’s 5th seed for the 2021 NBA Playoffs —their highest seeding since winning the 2011 NBA Finals. Before Luka Doncic and the Mavs can concern themselves with a shot at the franchise’s second championship, however, they’ll first have to contend with an old foe in the opening round.
Last season the Dallas Mavericks touted the most efficient offense in NBA history. While part of that may be a byproduct of this current era, the fact remains that Luka Dončić and company could score against the best of them. What they lacked, and what limited how far they could ultimately go, however, was the defensive end of the equation. The Mavs might score 120 or more on a given night, but they were likely going to give up somewhere around 115 points in the process. This meant that whenever Luka Dončić or Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t in optimal health, or even if they happened to be sharing in a poor shooting night, Dallas was unlikely to walk away with a “W.”