After the embarrassing loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night and the Los Angeles Lakers win over the Portland Trail Blazers, the Dallas Mavericks have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. It’s easy to point blame at this or that, but the fact of the matter is this team was never really playoff material. They had moments throughout the season where they looked really good and things looked promising. Overall, though, they lacked the killer instinct that is needed in the playoffs.
Defensively, the Mavericks could never pull it together this season. Again, there were obvious times where the defense was great, but for the most part, it was lacking. They gave up too many offensive rebounds over the course of the season and the rebounding as a whole was atrocious. The team picked it up in the latter part of the season, but seemed to get out-rebounded in critical games.
Opponents also averaged 102 points per game against Dallas this season. When you consider the Memphis Grizzlies are leading the NBA in that category by only giving up 89.5 points, you realize the Mavericks have a long way to go. Offensively, the Mavericks have done very well this season. They are averaging 101.1 points, which is good enough for eighth in the NBA.
With the hopes of a playoff berth behind them and a long off-season ahead, the Mavericks have a lot of soul searching to do. There are some definite questions that need to be addressed. Besides Dirk Nowitzki, this team primarily has been made up with a lot of one-year contracts. People were brought in to fill a void or to play a role. That has to change, though. Mark Cuban needs to get the checkbook out and start writing checks once again. Dallas used to be known as a team that would spend the money needed to win a title. Now that the title has been won, Dallas is quickly becoming an irrelevant team. The only way this perception changes is if Cuban does something about it. For the first time in a long time, he will have lots of extra time to think about it. Hopefully he gets it figured out quickly. Otherwise, Dallas may be in the same boat next season.