It’s crunch time in the Playoffs. The momentum has just shifted to the Mavericks’ side, and the Clippers’ back is against the wall. Now they’re facing a best-of-three series against a team that was written off even before the Playoffs began.
Now, there’s a question that begs to be asked. Do the Mavs have what it takes to win this series? It’s hard to answer this, but they do have the pieces to prove their doubters wrong.
Watching the Dallas Mavericks is like watching an orchestra in a concert. Rick Carlisle is the conductor from the sidelines. His lead musicians are Kristaps and Luka Doncic. Behind them is a pack of professional strings and percussions that follow the harmony set by Carlisle. The product? A perfect symphony of an offense that stifles opposing defenses.
The Dallas Mavericks is a quietly stacked team. The best thing about them is that each player knows exactly what his role is in the team. Their main mantra is a five-out system that makes each role player as lethal as they are. Outside of Boban Marjanovic, all the players in the Mavs’ roster can pull-up from inside and outside the arc with ease.
On face value, it would seem like Dallas is heavily reliant on Luka Doncic. The fact is, they are, but they are also not. When Doncic is on the floor, the product is an NBA-best highest offensive rating. When he’s off the floor, they still produce a top-five rating. The key to this system is Rick Carlisle’s genius.
When Luka sits down, ultra-capable ball-handlers like Seth Curry, Delon Wright, and Trey Burke take the lead. If they work off the ball, they are likewise lethal from anywhere outside the arc, as such, teams that try to stifle the ball handler flop because they don’t know whom to defend.
On paper, the Mavs’ chances of advancing to the second round are slim. However, they have proven in four games that they can keep up with the Clippers. It will be a matter of grit in the next three games if they can force the Clips to a must-win 3-2 lead. If they do, they’ll have the entire league rooting for them as the underdogs.
Image from 2020 NBA Playoffs/ YouTube thumbnail
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