The Dallas Mavericks are several years removed from competing in the post-season. Their last playoff trip was the 2015-’16 season when they were knocked out in the first round by Oklahoma City. Since that last playoff trip, the Mavericks have struggled. Winning less than 35 games in each season since the Mavericks are desperate to get back to playoff form. Are the Mavericks playoff chances real this season?
Picking up rookie phenom Luka Doncic in the draft added a huge boost for morale. On top of that, the Mavericks also acquired Kristaps Porzingis in a massive trade. Dallas is on the way to rebuilding but, playing in the West comes with its own challenges to face. The question for the Mavericks is if they will be able to consistently play at a high level to keep pace with the talent in the Western Conference.
Why they make it:
There are some certain playoff locks in the West. But, for the most part, the lower seeds should be a tight race. The teams likely will not be locked into their seed until the last several games of the season.
This puts the Mavericks in a good position to slip in. The team has a young and energetic core. Players like Doncic, Justin Jackson, Porzingis, and Delon Wright provide a spark for the team. This energy could help them pull out some tight games.
Another reason the Mavericks will make the playoffs is the Doncic and Porzingis connection. Both of these players excel in their position and consistently add to their highlight reels. If Doncic takes another step forward in his development then having these two stars together on a team could spell trouble for the competition.
If Dwight Powell continues to improve on his three-point shot, the Mavericks will be able to stretch the floor, unlike most teams. Over the course of his career, big man Dwight Powell has been taking more and more shots from outside the arc. If the trend continues and he improves his shot the Mavericks will have the ability to pass to any of the starting five for three-pointers.
If everything comes together the Mavericks playoff hopes are very realistic.
Why they won’t make it:
Plain and simple the Western Conference is just too competitive right now. The Mavericks are simply not outright better than seven other teams in the West. Even if they were, the better team may not get into the playoffs due to something like an injury on the team.
Speaking of injury, the Mavericks don’t have great depth on this team. The bench just won’t be able to hold up to the rest of the West. The most notable player that isn’t starting is Jalen Brunson. After him, the team is really lacking.
The Mavericks playoff hopes really rely on Doncic and Porzingis. If one or both of them can’t come out every single game and play efficiently then there isn’t much in store for the team this season.
The Mavericks definitely seem like they could be on the way back to playoffs soon. This season though would be doubtful. There is a chance they sneak into the 8th seed, but outside of that don’t hold too much hope.