On Saturday night, the Dallas Mavericks were able to hang with one of the most impressive teams through the first part of the 2013-14 NBA season in the Portland Trail Blazers. In fact, thanks to Monta Ellis the Mavs were able to pull out a 108-106 victory over the Blazers. With their 13th win of the season coming in such bold fashion, you had to look at Dallas as a potentially serious postseason team.
However, the Mavs followed that effort up with their game on Monday against the lowly Sacramento Kings. After keeping pace with one of the NBA’s best just two days ago, the Mavs made the Kings look far from lowly and ultimately were decidedly beaten by as score of 112-97.
Even with Sacramento playing short-handed after making a trade for Rudy Gay, the Kings were able to put up that big point-total along with shooting an impressive 46.9 percent from the floor and a solid 36 percent from three as a team. Though you might look at the Kings as possibly being rejuvenated by the mere thought of switching up their personnel, the biggest key was the Mavericks’ defense, which has been quite bad this season.
While much of the talk with Dallas has concerned them having one of the league’s best offenses and the evolution of Ellis, their defense has been awful. After their loss to Sacramento, the Mavericks now have the seventh-worst offense in the league, allowing a pretty poor 104.2 points per 100 possessions. Sure, their offense has averaged 105.1 points per 100 possessions, a big reason for their success, but playing that poor of defense is going to bite you at times.
Though you don’t want to disrupt the offense, the Mavs have to make changes in their rotation or perhaps look to make a trade to improve their defense. This team is playing well, but they aren’t going to reach their full potential playing defense this badly. If the Mavs and Mark Cuban want to be able to make some noise, they’re going to have to make some moves and decisions to help change and improve this defense.