The Dallas Mavericks’ season is now over after a 126-111 loss in Game 7 to the Los Angeles Clippers. This series has been one of the strangest in playoff history, seeing the road team win each of the first six games for the first time in its history.
Before the NBA playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks looked like a team that was a dark horse to make a deep playoff run. This was reinforced when they beat the Clippers in the first two road games of the series. However, they were unable to defend their home soil in subsequent outings, including a loss in Game 3 despite a 19-point lead in the first quarter.
Here, we’ll take a look at the moves the Dallas Mavericks need to make to take the next step in the championship fight.
Dallas Mavericks need to improve the bench
Luka Doncic has been absolutely spectacular for the Mavericks in the playoffs, averaging 35.7 points, 7.9 rebounds and 10.3 assists. He was almost unstoppable playing for himself and others throughout the series, forcing the Clippers to make several series adjustments in an effort to control him. However, the Mavs were unable to maintain production when Luka went to the bench. Simply put, there was no one good enough to take on his role as a game maker.
There are a number of good NBA free agents in this year’s class who could help them in this area. This includes Derrick Rose, Lou Williams, TJ McConnell, and Dennis Schroder. Also, there are options in the commercial market, as it has been reported that the Boston Celtics are looking to move Marcus Smart. All of these guys are reliable playmakers that they won’t have to break the bank to acquire.
Find a second reliable scoring option
To put it plainly, Kristaps Porzingis hasn’t played well for the Mavericks in this series. He averages only 13.1 points, including three games in which he scored in single digits. This is simply unacceptable for a player the Dallas Mavericks have tricked into being the No.2 option behind Luka Doncic.
A potential move for the Mavs could be a signing and trade with free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson in an effort to get CJ McCollum or maybe even Bradley Beal. On the other hand, if they’re determined to have a big one being their second option, why not go after Karl Anthony-Towns?
Best low score for the Dallas Mavericks
Coming back to Porzingis’ problematic series, a big reason was his refusal to impose his will on the low post. In the series, he scored just 28 points in low post and 42 points overall in paint. He was almost dominated by Boban Marjanovic, who played two games less than Porzingis.
Even Marjanovic struggled to lack some basic skills at the low post, with the most glaring problem being his inability to use his size to his advantage to catch / hold the ball where the defender could reach it above. her head. Besides Karl Anthony-Towns, two options that would suit them well off the bench are free agents Enes Kanter and Montrezl Harrell. A long term option for them might be to bid for restricted free agent John Collins or Richaun Holmes.
Better defensive players on the horizon?
Another reason for the Mavericks’ loss in this series (especially Game 7) was their inability to protect the Clippers on the perimeter. They had no one who could contain Kawhi Leonard on a one-to-one basis. The Clippers managed 20 series-high three-pointers in Game 7, with most of their attempts being wide open and undisputed shots. Plus, the Mavs lacked the shot blockers needed to keep the Clippers from consistently heading for the basket. This led to the Clippers committing fouls and cashing on the free throw line.
There are a number of three and D free agents that the Mavs could pursue, including Avery Bradley, Norman Powell, Danny Green, and PJ Tucker. As for Postal Defenders, Serge Ibaka, Robin Lopez and Daniel Theis are all available as free agents. There’s also the option to trade for Myles Turner, who has placed in the top five for blocked shots for each of the past three seasons.
Dallas Mavericks must add veterans with championship experience
Of all 16 playoff teams, the Mavericks were the only one who didn’t face anyone who has ever played in a conference final. Championship pedigree is essential for a young and inexperienced team in the playoffs on the pitch and in the locker room. It’s just something the Mavericks lacked, as there were several games they struggled to perform late in the game.
This is one of the main reasons they couldn’t win a home game. Many players who fit the description for this role have already been named. However, there are other names they might attract. This includes Dwight Howard, Javale McGee, Alex Caruso, and Patty Mills.