With the trade deadline looming, the Mavs are currently on the right side of the playoff ledger, but it's close. Only a handful of games separate Dallas from the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves and Denver Nuggets, all of whom are champing at the bit to take over that No. 8 spot in the ridiculously tough and deep Western Conference.
Throughout the 2013-14 campaign, Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis have led a stellar offense, which needs to put up points in bunches to counteract the ill effects of a porous defense.
Basketball-Reference shows that Dallas ranks No. 4 in offensive rating, scoring 110.4 points per 100 possessions. Unfortunately, the defense—which gives up 108.6 big ones over the same span—leaves the Mavs all the way down at No. 24 in defensive rating.
It's a strange balancing act, but it's one that could be fixed by the trade deadline's flurry (one can hope) of activity.
The Mavericks could use another big man, and the perimeter defense is particularly bad. But without many draft picks to its credit, the team is left trying to swing expiring contracts that have value and young players with untapped/unproven potential.
Will anything happen? If the Mavericks want a guaranteed spot in the postseason or anything more than an inevitable first-round exit, it needs to.