How Have Dallas Mavericks Kept Winning?
So far this season, the Dallas Mavericks have won just over half of their games, which isn’t all too impressive to the untrained eye. But their ability to keep their heads above water despite massive changes and an aging core make them one of the best stories in the NBA. How have the Dallas Mavericks managed to keep winning and remain competitive in the face of adversity?
Dirk Nowitzki Keeps Going
Dirk Nowitzki is 37 years old and at an age where he should be well past his prime, but he has been leading the Dallas Mavericks for years and this season is no exception. Nowitzki’s scoring has remained consistent in his advanced age, which has kept the Mavericks in contention in the Western Conference, which is quite the feat.
Nowitzki is averaging 17.1 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per contest, making him valuable in multiple facets of the game. This helps to make up for some depth issues that the Mavericks possess, and makes defenses prioritize limiting Nowitzki more than playing a balanced defense across the board. His presence has been vital to this team this season, which is nothing new given his history with the squad.
Deron Williams’ Resurgence
The biggest question surrounding the Dallas Mavericks this season was where their point guard production was going to come from. After signing Deron Williams, it wasn’t a given that he was going to play well after an underwhelming tenure as the point guard of the Brooklyn Nets. But Williams has played well this season, which gives Dallas an added dimension necessary to remain respectable in the NBA.
Williams is averaging about 15 points, 6 assists, and a steal per game, numbers that aren’t spectacular, but are solid and reliable. He’s not going to give you spectacular performances, but there are no peaks and valleys, and consistency is key when it comes to the point guard position. An ability to spread the ball to the likes of Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons has been a huge benefit to this team this season. His ability to be a team player is also an upgrade over last year’s drama with point guard Rajon Rondo.
Beating Weaker Teams
Dallas Mavericks supporters will be troubled to know that their team has only won twenty percent of their games against teams with winning records. But the Mavericks have taken care of business against inferior opponents, which is essential to remaining in the playoff hunt. It looks like they have the sheer talent to beat those lesser teams all year, which will give them the ability to focus on the better teams in preparation for eventual key late season matchups.
When it’s all said and done, this Dallas Mavericks season will be graded on their ability to beat elite teams when it counts the most. But their ability to keep their heads above water despite new pieces like Deron Williams getting acclimated to the team is a very encouraging sign that they will be able to build upon for the rest of the season.
By: Jason M. Sanin