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It seems as if the season is getting better week by week. It is hard to believe that this Mavericks team that is 15-12 started out the season at 3-7. Since that 7th loss against the New York Knicks, the Mavericks have completely turned it around and gone on an amazing 12-5 run handing out L’s to teams left and right. The one statistic that is worrisome about that streak is that all 5 losses came on the road. A true playoff team is able to win games at home AND on the road. So far, the Mavericks are demonstrating some struggles in going into someone else’s home court.


The Mavericks’ game will be put to a true test starting next week on Tuesday, December 18th.  where they will begin a road trip facing the Denver Nuggets, followed by L.A. Clippers, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers all in their home courts in a span of 6 days. The dream scenario would be that the Mavericks complete the sweep on the road and come back home with four wins, but I think Mavericks fans should be content with the Mavericks splitting the games down the middle. Now this isn’t a true test because the Mavs might not be able to beat them, because they already have wins over three of the four teams that they will be facing in this road trip. It is just important that they are able to beat playoff contending teams on the road. The Nuggets, Warriors and Clippers, as of right now, would all have home court advantage in a playoff series if the playoffs started today. The Mavericks would be on the bottom half of the playoff picture in the West, so they would be facing a team with the home advantage, and with the way the Mavs have been playing on the road that would be a problem.

Shooting
The Mavericks are 13-2 at home and 2-10 on the road. Not to be a downer, it is definitely great that the Mavs are able to hold down their own home court, but it is disappointing to see that they are not able to cause the same havoc in someone else’s home court. In the American Airline Center, the Mavericks are able to put up 113.6 points per game and on the road, they are averaging 105.6 points per game, shooting 48% at home and 43% on the road. One could say that the point differential between what they score on the road and what they score at home is not much of a difference, but they are currently ranked 16th in the league by scoring 110.2 points per game for the season so far, so one can imagine how low their average of 105.6 on the road really is. Across the board, the majority of the players see a drop in their scoring when they hit the road, from Barnes and Luka to J.J. and Powell.

Orlando Magic v Dallas Mavericks

Defensive Effort
Since their rough start, the Mavericks have become stingy with their defense. Being ranked 10th in the league in defensive rating with a score of 106.6. As a team this season the Mavs have a positive differential of 2.2, and with little wiggle room, their defense is crucial to their wins. On the road, the Mavs drop down to 15th in the league with a defensive rating of 109.3 and on the road they are ranked 7th with a defensive rating of 104.5. At least Kleber is still maintaining his blocking tendencies regardless of who’s court he is on. On the road the Mavs are also allowing too many points to be scored off of turnovers. They are ranked 27th in the league with opponents scoring 20.1 points off turnovers while at home they limit teams to 15.3 which ranks them 8th in the league. It is clear that the Mavs forget who they are on the road defensively.

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks

Solution
The Mavericks should just play every season at home … okay, that’s ridiculous, what should actually happen is that the MFFLs should fill up all the opponent’s stadium and sing along to “Halleluka” so the Mavs feed of their energy and use it to lead them to some W’s on the road! But seriously, the Mavericks need to figure things out on the road. Of course, the home teams will feed off the energy of their crowds, but the Mavericks need to change the momentum by having defensive stops and not take bad looks at the basket. Let’s see if the Mavs are able to prove themselves and establish themselves as playoff contenders in this next quarter of the season.

The Mavericks have not reached their full potential yet, Luka still needs to develop more and with Dirk’s return, minutes will have to be figured out again and the team will continue to gel. Their stats at home is only a taste of what the Mavericks can become since this is all still a learning process. However, on the road, the team cannot be forgetting to play at their best and show that they have more than just potential and play as the quote that they have been using all season, play like the “future is now”.


Leave any comments in the section below. LET’S GO MAVS! It’s great to have Dirk back!


Featured Image: Mavericks Players/Mavs.com
Harrison Barnes/ Mavs.com
Luka Doncic/Mavs.com
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