The Dallas Mavericks have shown over the start of the 2013-14 NBA season that they have the talent and potential to be one of the best offenses in the entire league this season. Along the same lines, they also have a roster that has the potential to foul things up on any given night.
One of the wildcards with this team is undoubtedly Monta Ellis, a fresh face with the Mavs. Though Ellis has looked solid for much of the year, there have been times where the Dallas offense has faltered because Monta started to try and do too much, forcing the issue on offense and taking ill-advised shots.
When Monta is playing like that, it’s completely detrimental to the Mavs. In that mode that he gets in, he makes himself the primary option in the offense and the offense runs through him. On a team that has Dirk Nowitzki, one of the most dynamic offensive power forwards in the history of the game, that’s not a good look.
On Tuesday night against the Washington Wizards, the value of making Dirk the primary option in the offense was on full display. Nowitzki led the team in shot attempts with 19 and finished with 19 points. Obviously that’s not a great shots-to-points ratio, but running the offense through Dirk causes the defense to focus on him as well, opening up the floor for the rest of the Mavs. It’s no coincidence that the Mavs put up 105 on Tuesday with how they ran their offense.
Now sitting at 5-3, the Mavericks look like a team that could be competing for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. If they want to continue their early success, though, they need to use the recipe that they used against Washington on Tuesday. Quite simply, running their offense through Dirk makes their team at their best.