NBA Notes: Mavericks and Heat are stacking the win and making a comeback in the standings
The Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat were 2 teams that surprised and shined in last years’ bubble. The Mavericks lost to the Clippers in the first round, but the performances by Luka Doncic were impressive. The Heat made it to the NBA Championship losing to the Lakers. Both of these teams are on a 4-game winning streak climbing up the standings.
Doncic has shown his game general mentality and making sure he is always in control. In his short time in the NBA, Doncic has plenty of accolades and record nights making him an exciting and top NBA player. Now, the Mavericks (and Doncic) need to show their hard work can translate into their win column. The 4-game winning streak matches their longest winning streak of the season.
The Heat, former Eastern Conference defending the champions, have a 11-14 record. They are riding a 4-game winning streak that has put them in the 9th seed in the East behind the Knicks. An 11-14 losing record may not be glamorous but in the East, a winning record is not a requirement for a playoff spot. It may have not been a great start for the Heat, but they are making their way back.
Health has been a huge factor for both of this teams. The Mavericks were without Kristaps Porzingis and had to ease him back into his unicorn all around threat form. Having Porzingis gives the Mavericks another weapon relieving some pressure of Doncic. The Mavericks still need to address some issues and could be planning to make some moves before the trade deadline.
A stumble out of the gate should be no surprise for a team that was playing late into the season and had very little time to recover. Even in losses the Heat have shown that they will fight to the end with their personnel on the floor. Jimmy Butler got his first triple double of the season in the win against the Rockets. Butlers season averages of 19.5-7.2-7.1 show his leadership and willingness to do everything the Heat asks of him.
It is still early on, but these teams are picking it up and building on their success from last year. Both teams still have a lot of work and fixing to do to make them real threat to top teams like the Lakers and Sixers, but they are making progress. The Mavericks will lean on Doncic and Porzingis while chasing a third piece. The Heat led by Butler and explosive young shooters have shown flashes of a top team but not consistently enough.
Featured Image: Credit Richard W. Rodriguez/ Associated Press
Image Credit: John Raoux/ Associated Press
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