3 things the Dallas Mavericks can learn from the 2022 NBA Finals

The 2022 NBA season is officially over and the Golden State Warriors are champions again. The Dallas Mavericks haven’t played in a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m done trying to wish them more success.

The finals taught us some things and we hope that the Mavericks paid attention. Here are three things to take from the 2022 finals.

It feels like the Mavericks are on the right track here and that’s a good thing. After several years of amazing attack and blah defense, Jason Kidd and Co. reversed the script. They slowed things down even more and focused entirely on defense.

The Mavs finished the regular season with a top seven defense effectiveness rating and entered the playoffs, hanging a hat on their ability to stop. And guess what – it works! The Mavs exceeded expectations and reached the Western Conference Finals, eventually losing to eventual NBA champions.

In the finals participated two teams that too they hung up their hats for protection. The two best defenses in the regular season? Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. And their defense was increased only on the biggest stage. Neither team was killed in the attack. That’s not how these guys win games. They did this with clever, suffocating defenses.

The Warriors have won the final three games in the finals, retaining Boston with 97, 94 and 90 points respectively. It didn’t matter how good the Warriors’ attack was, because it wasn’t must to be so good. He just had to be good enough to withstand their defenses. And thanks to Steph Curry.

Mavericks can follow the same pattern. If their defense can be elite, Luka Doncic can carry out their half-court attack in the same way that Steph Curry attacked the Warriors in the half-court.

So keep focusing on defense, Dallas. This is a good way to win NBA games when they are most important.

One of my favorite parts of the Warriors title was watching them use their boys on the periphery. We knew Steph Curry would drop out. That was a given. But again and again in the finals, the Warriors trusted the boys, who were abandoned by other teams.

Gary Peyton II was a key contributor to their performance in the finals and eventually played 20 minutes at the end of the match, finishing with a high +18 plus / minus for the team thanks in large part to his intense defense.

Another person with whom the Warriors were successful was Nemanja Belica. He did not play in the closing match and hardly played in the playoffs. But he was good enough to play on the spot when it was profitable for Warriors matches.

Gary Peyton II and Nemanja Belica are not the types of boys who excite their fans in the off-season, but they are the types of boys who can exchange key minutes in the highlights of the season.

Yes, you need a top five to play most of the minutes, but everyone on the list is crucial to the team’s success.

This is the biggest and most important lesson, and despite how many times it has been thrown at NBA teams and fans, it feels like it’s always forgotten.

If you have a chance to win an NBA title, you do have to do everything in your power to go all-in and do it.

Look at the Celtics. Their main core is young. Jason Tatum is 24 and Jaylan Brown is 25. In theory, they have to come back and they have to come back more than once. But will this really happen? Janice Adetokunmpo is still the boss level you have to beat in the Eastern Conference. Trey Young is in perspective. Joel Embiid is still there. Raptors have an exciting core. Remember Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets?

Should Boston return? Yes. But would you be surprised if they missed their window and couldn’t get past Janice, Joel, or anyone else for the next five years? I wouldn’t be.

On the other side, the Warriors saw their window and jumped through it with full enthusiasm. The Golden State will still be a force to be reckoned with next season, but the Western Conference is getting better. Luka Doncic is coming. Ja Morant is coming. Cowie Leonard and Paul George are still there. LeBron James exists. The suns are hungry. The current consecutive MVP Nikola Jokic is there. Anthony Edwards and Minnesota have a bright future. Did I mention the ceiling of Zion Williamson and the Pelicans?

This could very well have been Steph Curry and Co.’s last chance to add another ring to their trophy box, and they jumped all the time.

The Mavs have to do the same with Luca Donik. There can be no “Well, Luke is still young” in Dallas. He is good enough to lead a team to the championship at the moment and the Mavs must do everything they can to maximize every chance they get.

The good news: The acquisition of Christian Wood makes it seem that the Mavs are aware of this.

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