Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images. Pictured: Luka Doncic # 77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
May 18, 2021 at 3:33 pm EDT
Dallas Mavericks NBA Playoff Odds
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How the Dallas Mavericks got here
Year 2 of Luka Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis was quite similar to the first, albeit with less spectacular results. The Mavericks had by far the best offensive in the league last season.
Though they didn’t reach the same heights in the 2021 season, Dallas still scored an elite offensive rating and finished fifth in the Western Conference, avoiding the play-in tournament that Luka Doncic was not enthusiastic about.
Doncic has done his part this season, achieving a high effective field goal percentage despite again taking on a massive offensive workload. With Doncic continuing to fire from all cylinders, it was expected that Kristaps Porzingis would finally have a superstar season. That didn’t just happen.
Porzingis battled gnawing injuries again and played less than a full season, but scored a solid 20.1 points per game (PPG) while shooting 37.6% from the 3-point line.
A stretch five (meaning “a center that can shoot 3-pointers”) of his caliber is still required to get the most out of Doncic, but Mavs manager Rick Carlisle will no doubt need more of Porzingis in the postseason.
Instead of Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson were the players who took their games to a new level this season. Brunson in particular was very impressive, getting his career top marks in PPG (12.6) and a 3 point percentage (40.5%).
From a betting perspective, Brunson and Hardaway played a huge part in helping the Mavericks have been strong against The Spread (ATS) to end the season and cover five of their last eight games.
That season, Dallas was 35-37 ATS and although they more than survived overall, the Mavericks went over five games in a row to end the regular season. I would expect a higher scoring streak than expected as Dallas will have a pretty tough battle against a Clippers team that got the third best offensive rating in the league (116.7 points per 100 possession).
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