Last night the Dallas Mavericks fell to 3-2, suffering a 107-93 defeat at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 107 points scored by the Thunder was the fourth time an opponent has scored over 100 points so far this year against the Mavs. In the first five games, the Mavs are allowing 106.4 points per game, which is 26th in the league.
We knew coming into this season that defense would be a struggle for Dallas, as Samuel Dalembert was really the only true center that was known for defense on the roster. Big men get into the paint with ease, as do guards, and passes around the basket are leading to easy buckets. Mavs opponents have scored an average of 44 points in the paint per game.
With Brandan Wright hurt, and DeJuan Blair standing at only 6’7″, we knew that rebounding would be an issue as well. Dallas is averaging 43 boards a game, good for 13th in the league, but let’s not let that get our hopes up. Through five games it’s very obvious that boxing out and getting rebounds will be an issue.
Now, it’s very early in the season, and with Rick Carlisle as a head coach, you can always bank on a team improving in areas of weakness as the year progresses. However, it’s going to be a difficult task to get this team where it needs to be defensively, and as long as that’s the case, this team is a 7 or 8 seed at best.