Team of the Week: Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers | Image by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks are The Dallas Express Team of the Week after jumping out a 2-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Mavericks entered the 2024 postseason as the fifth seed in the Western Conference after finishing with a regular season record of 50-32, finishing just one win behind the fourth-seeded Clippers, who finished with an overall record of 51-31.

Although the Mavericks’ calling card throughout the regular season was on the offensive side of the ball, scoring an average of 117.9 points per game, the biggest key to obtaining a series lead came due to the Mavericks’ defense.

Dallas has held the Clippers to just 97.3 points per game in the series, down from the team’s average of 115.6 points during the first 82 games.

Additionally, the Clippers have shot just 42.6% from the field to start the series, significantly lower than the 48.9% the team shot in the regular season.

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd told reporters after Game 3 that he was proud of his team for the physicality and mental toughness displayed alongside the tough defense.

“Something that we’ve taken pride in is trying to, you know, be one of the best defensive teams in the league against the Clippers, who are future Hall of Famers. They’ve got weapons everywhere. So we’re just trying to make it tough, and we’re getting our hands on some of the passes,” he explained.

“We’re rebounding the ball which is big, You can’t give them second opportunities. Again, just trying to make it tough. Understanding Harden is not just going to let you do what you want. He’s shooting the three at a high rate, and we’ve got to figure out how to slow him down a little bit, but again, we’re active on the defensive end, and we’re going to need that for Sunday.”

The Mavericks have been led by guard Luka Doncic, who has averaged an incredible 29 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 8 assists through the first three games while also playing a team-high 42.7 minutes per game.

Many of the team’s other players have also contributed, with guard Kyrie Irving putting up averages of 25 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 39 minutes per game to help the Mavericks.

Defensively, Irving has contributed a team-high 2.3 steals per game in the series, with center Dereck Lively II leading the team with an average of 1.7 blocks.

The Mavericks are set to face off against the Clippers in Game 4 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT at American Airlines Center, where the team will attempt to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series before heading back to Los Angeles.

Recent winners of The Dallas Express Team of the Week include:

The Dallas Stars

Celina Girls’ Soccer

The Dallas Stars

The Texas Rangers

Texas A&M Basketball

Texas A&M Baseball

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