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Lack of Bench Production Costs Mavs on 4-Game Road Trip: ‘We Learned A Lot’

If the Dallas Mavericks are going to truly be a threat in the West, they need their bench to keep them in games. The bench's inability to perform loomed large as they went 1-3 during their four-game road trip.

It will take more than Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving if the Dallas Mavericks are going to make it to the playoffs and then make a run. 

The bench's performance and ability to keep the team afloat will go a long way toward deciding what the Mavs' ceiling truly is, and their performance during their four-game road trip was further proof of that. Dallas' bench scored 20 points compared to the Celtics' 33 in a 138-110 loss on Friday at the TD Garden

Tim Hardaway Jr, Dallas Mavericks

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Dallas needs to improve as a team rather than relying on heroics from Doncic and Irving, though head coach Jason Kidd believes his team is trending the right way.

"It wasn't the game that we wanted, but we learned a lot about ourselves," Kidd said. "Some things to correct, but it's going in the right direction."

The Mavs went 1-3 during their four-game road trip, and the common denominator for their struggles was the bench getting outscored in each of their losses. In their 121-119 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Mavs bench was outscored 30-17. Against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, Dallas' bench got outscored 42-29. 

The lack of assists from the second unit loomed large too, as the Mavs' bench had five assists against the Pacers, three against the Cavs and four against Boston.  

In the Mavs' lone win during their road trip, a 136-125 victory against the Toronto Raptors, their bench outscored the Raptors 40-25. They also had 11 assists. Tim Hardaway Jr.'s four assists against Toronto improved the Mavs' record to 13-2 when he records at least three assists. 

It's going to take growth from the team and their bench playing more team-friendly basketball if Dallas is going to reach its full potential. If the bench continues to play how it played in the three losses during the four-game road trip, not even Doncic or Irving may be able to overcome that when the games matter most.