The Dallas Mavericks were in seventh place in the NBA Western Conference standings when the 2019-20 regular season was suspended on March 12th. Dallas has an overall record of 40-27 and is a comfortable seven games ahead of the eighth place Memphis Grizzlies and just 1½ games behind the fifth and sixth place Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets. Dallas was in second place in the Southwest Division 1½ games behind the Rockets when the season was suspended.
Luka Doncic is leading Dallas in scoring and assists with averages of 28.7 points and 8.7 assists per game, while the shooting guard is also second in rebounding for Dallas with an average of 9.5 per game. Kristaps Porzingis is the second leading scorer and leading rebounder for Dallas with averages of 19.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The Mavericks have just four players averaging double-figures in scoring.
Expectations were high at the start of the season amongst Dallas players and fans thanks to European stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis leading a lineup of strong, young talent. However, not many expected the Mavericks to be battling with the Rockets for first place in the Southwest division and fighting to qualify for a top five spot in the conference playoff seedings. Doncic has proven to be one of the top all-around players in the NBA, but it's been the play of Porzingis that has surprised many. The Dallas center has scored 20 or more points and pulled down 10 rebounds or more in 17 games this season
While Doncic and Porzingis are the two biggest reasons why Dallas is in second place in the Southwest Division, the team could face big problems at both ends of the court if one or both is injured for an extended period of time over the final eight games of the regular season and into the NBA postseason. Dallas must have players to step up not only to help both Doncic and Porzingis but if one of the two is injured. Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 15.8 points per game and will play a pivotal role down the stretch for the Mavericks as a third scoring threat for Dallas.
Dallas will be well rested and healthy when the NBA season restarts. The Mavericks will give Houston a battle for the Southwest Division title behind the exceptional play of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. However, a lack of depth beyond Doncic and Porzingis will hurt the Mavericks during the defensive-minded playoffs and Dallas will be eliminated early from postseason play.