The Dallas Mavericks‘ trend of struggling on the road continued against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night. Dallas is a perfect 7-0 at home this season, while they are 2-5 away from the American Airlines Center after losing to the Nuggets 102-100. Dallas, playing in their fifth back-to-back games of the season, has yet to sweep the two games.
Coming off a win over the Utah Jazz on Friday night, Dallas entered the first game of a home-and-home with Denver and never looked good. The Mavericks only shot 40.2 percent from the field, which was well below their average of 47.7 percent. They only shot 33.3 percent from 3-point range, which is below their 40.0 percent season average.
Dallas almost seems to be a different team on the road then they are at home. Protecting their home court is huge, but this team is going to have to figure out how to win on the road. Struggling against a team like the Nuggets isn’t very reassuring when you know trips to Western Conference rivals like the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angles Clippers, Portland Trailblazers and Memphis Grizzlies are still waiting for Dallas.
Veteran leaders like Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki are going to have to take charge and show the team what it means to win in a hostile environment. If the Mavericks can’t figure this out sooner rather than later, they may be looking at another offseason in which they are watching the playoffs from home.