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    Mavs Out of the Play-In?

    As we head down the stretch run of the NBA season, there’s one constant that we’ve seen all year long, the Western Conference is absolute chaos. With 7-8 games to go for each team, only 4 games separate the 4 seed from the 12 seed. Will the Jazz catch the Suns? No, but this helps illustrate how much is still up for grabs and the extra layer of the play-in adds to an already insane close to the season.

    There are storylines abound: Can the Lakers make a run? Will the Warriors fall into the play-in? Are the Timberwolves back? 

    Still, there’s one team and one narrative that stands above the rest. The Dallas Mavericks. This is a team that went to the conference finals a year ago, then went out and got Kyrie Irving in a blockbuster trade at the deadline. Since then, they have a bottom 10 record in the league and have dropped from 4th place in the West all the way down to 11th, on the outside of the play-in. 

    What’s gone wrong? Outside of injury, you might be quick to blame Kyrie and the general lack of vibes he brings with all of the baggage that comes with the talent. What if I told you that Luka Doncic is the problem?

    AP Photo/LM Otero

    Luka Doncic is the European Version of James Harden

    Yup. Not the next LeBron or Dirk, he’s James Harden. And that’s not to say James Harden is bad, he’s a perenially All-NBA talent with an MVP under his belt, but he’s never won a ring. A lot of the reasoning behind that is his play style in the past, incredibly high usage, and reliance on an ability to get to the free-throw line. Two things that often don’t translate well to playoff basketball in June.

    While Luka isn’t quite the free-throw merchant that Harden is, his usage rate is a problem. Currently sitting at a career (and league) high of 38% usage, there is too much reliance on Luka to be dominant for the Mavs to win. 

    A usage rate this high is similar to Russell Westbrook’s during his triple-double seasons and Harden’s during his MVP run. It leads to some spectacular numbers and games but is not sustainable for team success.

    Either the Mavs or Luka need to make a shift in this approach or we might be adding Luka to a list of supremely talented players who stuffed the stat sheet but never amounted to anything beyond counting numbers.

    Missing that bracket feeling? We’ve got you covered, start an NBA Playoff bracket and keep the badness going here!

    NBA FAQs

    How do you win NBA pick'em pool?

    In order to win an NBA Pick'Em pool, players must have the most points at the end of the season. For each correct pick during the regular season, members will receive one point (customizable based on the pool commissioner). Some pools will choose picks based on the spread or straight up.

    What is NBA pick'em pool?

    In an NBA Pick'Em pool, players make weekly picks (either against the point spread or straight-up). The number of picks each week is customizable by the pool commissioner. Optional best-bet and confidence pick settings can be put into place as well. Commissioners can use a hosting site like RunYourPool to keep up with scoring and calculations.

    How to play an NBA basketball pool?

    The way one plays a basketball pool varies on the game type. For example, in Pick'em Pools, you simply pick every game each week.

    How to run a weekly basketball pool?

    In order to run a basketball pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

    How do you win NBA Survivor Pool?

    In NBA Survivor, the last player standing wins. The name of the game is to make it to the next week. A member will select one game from all the games in that given week. If members choose the correct winner, they move on to the next week. If they pick incorrectly, they are eliminated from the contest.

    What is NBA Surivor Pool?

    In an NBA Survivor pool, players choose one NBA team each week that they believe will win. They may only pick a team one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. If their pick is correct, they survive until the next week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the pool for the remainder of the season.

    What is a basketball pool?

    "Basketball Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more basketball game. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system.

    How to make a basketball pool?

    A basketball pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use basketball pool hosting services like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

    How do you win NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

    In NBA Playoff Bracket pools, the winning entry is the team with the most points at the end of Playoffs. Members try to pick the winner of each playoff series. For each series, they also pick how many games they think the series will go. Points are awarded for each winning pick, with bonus points for how close they come to the correct series length

    What is an NBA Playoff Bracket Pool?

    In an NBA Playoff Bracket pool, players pick the winner of each NBA Playoff series. Commissioners can choose to have members receive bonus points for guessing the series length. Points increase as the tournament progresses (points per round are configurable by the commissioner). The winning entry is the player with the most points at the end of the playoffs.

    Are there other Playoff Pools?

    Yes! RunYourPool offers plenty of contest types for various playoff events! March Madness squares and bracket pools aer very popular among basketball fanatics, while the Super Bowl Prop Pool is the most popular annual event game.

    How to set up a basketball pool?

    To set up a basketball pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.

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    About Author

    Dan Childs

    Lifelong Yinzer, Daniel bleeds black and gold, not black and yellow as the 2010 Wiz Khalifa hit got wrong. An avid NBA and NFL fan, he provides his view on various topics from 'what-if' scenarios to which players you should be rolling out in your fantasy pools week-in and week-out.

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