There is some rhyme and reason as to why the Dallas Mavericks are even hotter in the NBA playoffs than they were during the regular season. It has something to do with several of the best players on the team actually getting to be on the floor together, healthy and happy. Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas reports:
A quartet that got minimal burn together during the regular season has been a major key to the Mavericks’ playoff run.
The foursome of Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Peja Stojakovic and J.J. Barea has already played more minutes in the playoffs than it did the entire regular season. And the results have been remarkable.
That group with Brendan Haywood is the second-most used lineup by the Mavs this postseason, putting up a net rating (points per 100 possessions) of plus 28.54, according to NBA.com’s Stats Cube. The net rating with Tyson Chandler manning the middle with that quartet in the playoffs is plus 29.87.
On the rare occasions that quartet played during the regular season, it was actually most effective with Ian Mahinmi at center. That lineup had a net rating of plus 55.70 in 47 minutes. It was a mediocre lineup with Haywood in the regular season (minus 0.14 in 41 minutes) and didn’t play a second with Chandler at center until the playoffs.
The Mavs continue to sit waiting for the winner of the Thunder-Grizzlies series. Oklahoma City leads Memphis 3-2, with Game 6 coming tonight.