Withstanding the plethora of critiques directed at the Dallas Mavericks for their offseason decisions, Dallas is now one of the most efficient teams in the NBA. Far removed from their -1.9 net rating in the first month of this season, the last 15 games indicate that Dallas is on another level.
Where exactly do they rank?
ESPN's statistical extraordinaire Kirk Goldberry recently curated a graphic detailing the league's leaders in team efficiency. Although not the end-all-be-all stat, net rating does hold quite the reputation of alluding to who are the best teams in the league.
Keeping in mind the graph only includes stats from the last 15 games, there are a few surprises among the leaders in net rating.
Ranking fifth in the league, the much-discussed Memphis Grizzlies, led by Ja Morant, edge out the 2021 NBA champions Milwaukee Bucks. The Grizzlies, recently diffused by the Mavs, still have momentum league-wide, and they’ll face Dallas for the final time this season on Sunday.
Fourth in net rating, while being 11-4 in their last 15 games, the Miami Heat are back in the saddle. Despite losing Bam Abedayo and other players due to injury, it's apparent the Pat Riley-ran franchise has contender potential.
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The Mavs never trailed and led by as many as 41 in a shocking slaughter of the 64-win Suns.
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The winner of Game 7 is Dallas. The Mavs will face the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals on Wednesday.
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Speaking of potential, the "trust the process" final product that is Joel Embiid, leads the Ben Simmons-less Philadelphia 76ers to the third-highest net rating.
Landing second on a graph rich with playoff contenders, the Dallas Mavericks rank second in net rating, trailing only the 2021 Western Conference champions Phoenix Suns, who beat Dallas 109-101 at AAC on Thursday night.
Despite the criticism and early dismissal of the thought of Dallas as a contender, the Mavericks produced the second-best net rating in the last 15 games. On the other hand, the Mavs' offense has been mediocre throughout the season, which makes the stat even more impressive.
Thanks to its first-ranked defense, Dallas holds the national media's attention, and more importantly, ranks fifth in the Western Conference win-loss column. Great defense is now expected in Dallas, and the Mavs are living up to those newfound high expectations this season.
Learn about more interesting Mavs stats by following DallasBasketball.com.