Mavericks NBA Championship Odds: How Far Can Luka Doncic Carry Dallas?
Cole Burston/Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship Odds
Dallas Mavericks Analysis
The Mavericks’ Kristaps Porzingis experiment wasn’t working, and they traded him to the Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Since those two joined them in mid February, the Mavericks finished the season on a heater as they won 19 of their last 25 games.
The Mavericks are built to thrive around Luka Doncic in the playoffs. Their 100.1 half-court Offensive Rating ranks second in the NBA, and they are battle tested as they played the most half-court plays (83.8% of plays) in the NBA this season. They have gotten increasingly efficient as the season has gone on as they are second in half-court Offensive Rating (104.5) since Feb. 1.
The big question for the Mavericks right now is the status of Luka Doncic, who suffered a calf strain at the end of the third quarter in their final regular season game on Sunday. Game one against the Jazz looms on Saturday and Doncic was seen in a walking boot on Monday morning.
Even without Doncic, the Mavericks have talented perimeter scorers like Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie who can run the offense, but their perimeter shooters, who have been stellar this season, will need to rise to the occasion with Tim Hardaway Jr. out for the year. Dorian Finney-Smith has been a key 3-and-D player while Dwight Powell has played his role well of screening, rolling and playing quality defense.
Maxi Kleber, who since Feb. 1 is shooting just 24% on 3s and ranks in the second percentile in eFG% (43.9 eFG%) among bigs, will need to step up for the Mavs (with or without Doncic) if they hope to make a deep run.