Generally speaking, rebounding differential is one of the best predictors of a team’s winning percentage in the NBA. The teams that rebound well are usually the ones who win games. Unfortunately for the Dallas Mavericks, they are in the bottom five in rebounding differential.
Of the teams in the bottom 10 in rebounding, only the Mavericks and the Miami Heat have winning records. The Heat can get away with poor rebounding because they have such a strong defense to go with the most efficient offense in basketball. Since the Mavericks are not as efficient on the offensive side of the ball and are decidedly below average defensively, a lack of rebounding could easily end up being this team’s Achilles heel.
For the season, the Mavericks have a -3.4 rebounding differential, meaning their opponents out-rebound them by an average of 3.4 rebounds per game. That puts them at fourth worst in the league. But over the last 10 games that differential plummets even further to a horrendous -8.4. The Mavericks have a record of just 4-6 over that stretch, and aside from a solid win against the Portland Trail Blazers on the road the other wins are coming in very close games against bad teams.
There is a ton of time left in the season for the Mavericks to solve the rebounding problem. If every player could just grab one extra rebound a game it would more than take care of itself. Of course, it’s never that simple. It will be up to coach Rick Carlisle to put the puzzle pieces together and make his team a real contender.