The 2022 NBA season is officially over, and the Golden State Warriors are champions once again. The Mavericks haven’t played in a few weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m done trying them for more success.
The finals taught us a few things, and I hope the Mavericks are paying attention. Here are three things to be left out of the 2022 finals.
It looks like the Mavericks are on the right track here, and that’s a good thing. After a few years of astonishing attack and false defense, Jason Kidd & Co. turned the script. They slowed things down a bit more and focused entirely on defense.
The Mavs finished the regular season with a top-seven defensive proficiency rating and made the playoffs pinning their hat on their ability to earn stopping points. And guess what – it worked! MAF exceeded expectations and reached the Western Conference Finals, eventually losing to the NBA champions.
The finals featured two teams also They hung their hats in defense. The two best defenses in the regular season? Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Their defenses only swelled on the larger stage. Neither team turned off the attack. That’s not how these guys win matches. They did so with a stifling clever defense.
The Warriors won the last three games of the Finals and earned Boston 97, 94, and 90 points, respectively. It doesn’t matter how good the warriors attack, because it wasn’t need to To be so good. He should have been good enough to hold out compared to defending. And thanks to Steve Curry, it was.
Mavericks can follow the same template. If their defense is elite, then Luka Doncic can perform their half court attack in the same way that Steve Curry did their half court warrior attack.
So, stay focused on defense, Dallas. It’s a good way to win NBA games when they matter most.
One of my favorite parts of the Warriors tournament was watching how they used their youth on the sidelines. We knew Steve Curry was going out. That was a given. But time and time again in the Finals, the Warriors trusted players that other teams had abandoned.
Gary Payton II was a major contributor to running the World Cup Finals, eventually playing 20 minutes in the closing match, and finishing as high as +18 plus/minus thanks in large part to his defensive intensity.
Another man with whom the Warriors succeeded was Nemanja Bjelica. He did not play in the elimination match and barely played in the playoffs. But he was good enough to play in the set minutes when it came in handy for the Warriors’ matches.
Gary Payton II and Nemanja Bjelica aren’t the guys who get their fan bases excited in the off-season, but they are the types of players who can swing in pivotal minutes at the season’s biggest moments.
Yes, you need a base five to play the most minutes, but everyone on the list is important to a team’s success.
This is the biggest and most important lesson, and despite how many times it has been thrown in the faces of NBA teams and fans, it always seems to be forgotten.
If you have a chance to win the NBA title, you You have To do everything in your power to go all out and go for it.
Take a look at the Celtics. Their main core is youth. Jason Tatum is 24 years old and Jalen Brown is 25 years old. Theoretically, they should go back and should come back more than once. But will that really happen? Giannis Antetokounmpo is still the leader you have to beat in the Eastern Conference. Trae Young is up and coming. Joel Embiid is still there. Birds of prey have an interesting core. Remember Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets?
Should you return to Boston? yes. But would you be surprised if they missed their window and couldn’t get past Giannis, 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. Golden State will continue to be a force to be reckoned with next season, but the Western Conference is only getting better. Luka Doncic is coming. Ja Morant is coming. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are still there. LeBron James is here. The sun is hungry. Nikola Jokic is in the back-to-back MVP Championship. Anthony Edwards and Minnesota have a bright future. Did I mention Zion’s Roof Williamson and the Pelican?
This would have been the last chance that Steve Curry and co. had to add another ring to their trophy case, and they jumped all over the place.
The Mavs need to do the same with Luka Donic. There can never be any, “Okay, Luca’s still young” thing in Dallas. He’s good enough to lead a team to the championship right now, and the Mavs need to do everything they can to maximize their chances.
Good news: The acquisition of Christian Wood makes it seem as if the Mavs knows it.