The Dallas Mavericks currently sit in the middle of the crowded Western Conference playoff picture as they try to win the franchise's second NBA title. Here's why they have the potential to run through the West and be celebrating at the end of the year:
1) The Mavericks can score on anybody
Dallas is the second-best offensive team in the league, averaging 106.7 points per game, and rank in the top 10 in assists. Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, and Dirk Nowitzki are all capable of scoring 40 points on any given night. They shoot 46.6 percent from the field and 35.8 percent from three-point range as a team. They can hurt you from any position on the court, and Rajon Rondo's ability to get their scorers open shots won't go away come playoff time.
2) Dallas' defense is improving
Injuries to Rondo and Tyson Chandler have given the illusion that the Mavericks are a terrible defensive team, and that's just not true. Those two guys aren't going to make them a defensive powerhouse, but Rondo's ability to create turnovers (1.9 steals per game in his career) and absolutely shut down someone on the perimeter will be valuable in the postseason. Chandler's rim-protecting presence was a key behind Dallas' championship run in 2011, and has shown he can he have the same impact this year when he's healthy.
3) Dirk Nowitzki is still one of the best clutch players in the NBA
In a Western Conference where all the teams are so evenly matched, most playoff games should come down the wire. The common saying is that a team needs a superstar to win a championship because they'll make the plays down the stretch to win games, and Dirk is still one of those guys.
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