Dallas Mavericks Team Stats 2021 Mavericks Team Stats

37-28, 1st in West Southwest

After entering the NBA as an expansion team in 1980, the Dallas Mavericks experienced reasonable success during their first decade. Following an initially lean three-season stretch, Dallas made the Western Conference playoffs six out of seven seasons. The scoring numbers for offense and defense are virtually identical. This certainly accounts for the Mavericks' starting the new season with only average results. Dallas made minimal changes to last season's roster, relying heavily on current All-Star and MVP candidate Luka Dončić. Last season, the Mavericks climbed to the third-best scoring team in the league. While the offensive production has dropped off slightly, Dallas has started the 2020-21 season improved on the defensive end of the court.

Home Record: 0-1 Away Record: 1-2 Conference Record: 1-2 Division Record: 0-1
Head Coach: Rick Carlisle Assitant Coach: Jamahl Mosley Assitant Coach: Mike Weinar Assitant Coach: Zach Guthrie
Assitant Coach: Jenny Boucek Assitant Coach: Darrell Armstrong General Manager: Donn Nelson Arena:

Mavericks Team Stats

Team Ratings Offense Stats Defense Stats
Overall OFF RTG DEF RTG PPG ORB AST TO FGM FGA 3PA 3-PM FG% 3PT% FT% Pace PPG Allow DRB AST Allow STL BLK FG% Allow 3P% Allow FORCE TO
86
115.1
113
112.1
584
1465
788
2660
5657
2476
894
47
36.1
77.3
97.2
110
2235
1474
403
282
46
36.6
818

Mavericks Team Rankings

Team Rankings Offense Rankings Defense Rankings
Overall OFF RTG DEF RTG PPG ORB AST TO FGM FGA 3PA 3-PM FG% 3PT% FT% Pace PPG Allow DRB AST Allow STL BLK FG% Allow 3P% Allow FORCE TO
10
9
19
17
28
27
3
20
28
6
10
13
18
18
24
9
19
2
30
26
9
14
29

Mavericks Team Offensive Stats

Opponent Vegas Points Scored Shooting Rebounding Assists TO
Date Team Spread ML O/U TOT PTS Q1 PTS Q2 PTS Q3 PTS Q4 PTS FGA FGM 3PTA 3PTM 3PT% FG% DREB OREB TOT REB TOT ASS TO
5/4/21 MIA -1 -110 216 127 30 33 35 29 87 46 48 22 45.8 52.9 32 12 44 26 13
5/2/21 SAC -6.5 -265 226 99 26 28 18 27 81 34 35 6 17.1 42 27 13 40 16 16
5/1/21 WAS -4 -185 232.5 125 38 32 19 36 87 47 38 17 44.7 54 29 7 36 31 11
4/29/21 DET +7.5 +245 212.5 115 26 34 26 29 89 40 30 13 43.3 44.9 27 8 35 22 11
4/27/21 GSW -5.5 -225 226 133 36 26 41 30 92 48 35 18 51.4 52.2 41 9 50 21 13
4/26/21 SAC +6.5 +210 225.5 106 17 35 33 21 92 43 42 12 28.6 46.7 26 14 40 24 10
4/24/21 LAL -1.5 -125 217.5 108 23 23 33 29 78 38 30 13 43.3 48.7 41 10 51 26 16
4/22/21 LAL -3 -150 216 115 31 31 32 21 82 40 24 9 37.5 48.8 29 9 38 23 12
4/21/21 DET -10.5 -620 217.5 127 33 34 33 27 92 46 43 16 37.2 50 32 11 43 25 6
4/18/21 SAC -9 -400 230.5 107 20 30 27 30 87 39 48 16 33.3 44.8 32 10 42 15 14
4/16/21 NYK -5 -205 210.5 109 25 27 27 30 91 40 45 15 33.3 44 31 10 41 30 9
4/14/21 MEM +2 +114 225.5 114 32 25 26 31 88 44 40 13 32.5 50 37 8 45 25 11
4/12/21 PHI +4.5 +145 217.5 95 26 22 21 26 83 35 36 9 25 42.2 35 11 46 16 15
4/12/21 PHI +4.5 +145 217.5 95 26 22 21 26 83 35 36 9 25 42.2 35 11 46 16 15
4/11/21 SAS -6 -255 221 117 26 30 33 28 94 45 42 13 31 47.9 26 11 37 25 12
4/8/21 MIL -2.5 -126 226.5 116 29 26 25 36 97 43 45 17 37.8 44.3 41 15 56 23 11
4/7/21 HOU +10 +420 222.5 93 23 19 22 29 87 33 39 10 25.6 37.9 35 11 46 16 9
4/5/21 UTA +2.5 +200 222.5 111 27 23 37 24 91 41 49 23 46.9 45.1 34 10 44 22 9
4/3/21 WAS +2.5 +164 228.5 109 24 28 23 34 90 40 30 10 33.3 44.4 36 14 50 17 7
4/2/21 NYK +5.5 +175 213.5 99 22 27 23 27 88 41 37 12 32.4 46.6 43 4 47 19 10
3/29/21 OKC +11.5 +500 221 127 33 38 29 27 96 51 44 16 36.4 53.1 35 8 43 30 8
3/27/21 NOP 0 0 0 103 20 33 25 25 83 37 31 10 32.3 44.6 28 10 38 19 7
3/26/21 IND -1.5 -118 226 94 29 19 27 19 95 39 35 8 22.9 41.1 36 15 51 17 15
3/24/21 MIN +8.5 +285 231 128 30 26 32 40 99 48 44 16 36.4 48.5 38 14 52 27 10
3/21/21 POR 0 0 230.5 132 27 38 38 29 86 48 37 19 51.4 55.8 44 8 52 23 10
3/19/21 POR +3.5 +126 231 119 33 27 38 21 81 44 42 19 45.2 54.3 34 5 39 25 12
3/17/21 LAC +0.5 +114 226.5 105 24 32 21 28 79 40 34 15 44.1 50.6 37 6 43 14 18
3/13/21 DEN +0.5 +108 226.5 116 28 34 31 23 86 42 46 18 39.1 48.8 37 12 49 26 8
3/11/21 OKC +6.5 +190 218.5 108 19 28 27 34 82 35 34 15 44.1 42.7 31 6 37 20 6
3/10/21 SAS -4.5 -180 226.5 115 27 25 35 28 83 43 40 13 32.5 51.8 38 13 51 29 14
3/3/21 OKC -5 -200 219.5 87 25 24 26 12 83 32 40 8 20 38.6 46 7 53 18 12
3/1/21 ORL +7 +230 220 130 29 32 34 35 90 47 46 17 37 52.2 39 7 46 29 8
2/27/21 BKN -1 -120 233.5 115 38 30 26 21 86 45 36 14 38.9 52.3 30 6 36 23 8
2/25/21 PHI -5 -150 228.5 97 22 21 25 29 78 32 34 13 38.2 41 40 10 50 17 18
2/23/21 BOS +2 +110 223.5 110 34 21 25 30 89 42 33 13 39.4 47.2 30 8 38 19 9
2/22/21 MEM -4.5 -180 232.5 102 26 28 27 21 80 35 41 15 36.6 43.8 44 5 49 17 16
2/14/21 POR -5.5 -220 235.5 118 25 36 30 27 81 40 41 14 34.1 49.4 25 10 35 19 12
2/12/21 NOP -3 -150 233.5 143 27 42 39 35 88 51 45 25 55.6 58 32 5 37 30 6
2/10/21 ATL -3.5 -155 231 118 33 19 29 37 84 43 35 14 40 51.2 33 4 37 25 9
2/8/21 MIN -6.5 -500 226.5 127 43 28 24 32 87 45 34 12 35.3 51.7 38 10 48 30 14
2/6/21 GSW -4.5 -180 232.5 134 35 37 34 28 96 44 47 21 44.7 45.8 32 15 47 27 14
2/4/21 GSW -4 -175 229.5 116 34 42 20 20 92 38 50 20 40 41.3 32 10 42 26 10
2/3/21 ATL +2 +110 224 122 26 27 35 34 93 43 40 13 32.5 46.2 32 13 45 27 10
2/1/21 PHX -3 -134 219.5 108 22 31 29 26 86 37 32 10 31.3 43 35 7 42 16 14
1/30/21 PHX -1 -120 215 105 28 27 27 23 83 44 29 9 31 53 32 6 38 22 15
1/29/21 UTA -4 -175 223 101 12 33 23 33 86 37 33 9 27.3 43 32 8 40 20 11
1/27/21 UTA -2 -135 220.5 104 19 29 30 26 91 42 35 12 34.3 46.2 32 4 36 22 8
1/25/21 DEN +2 +110 223 113 31 27 36 19 84 41 32 11 34.4 48.8 26 8 34 26 11
1/23/21 HOU -9.5 -430 222 108 27 32 24 25 83 37 25 5 20 44.6 26 10 36 15 10
1/22/21 SAS +2 +115 223.5 122 37 31 27 27 93 45 39 14 35.9 48.4 35 7 42 23 5
1/20/21 IND +2.5 +120 221 124 37 28 28 31 97 51 27 8 29.6 52.6 40 9 49 32 8
1/18/21 TOR -4 -170 222 93 18 29 25 21 82 31 36 9 25 37.8 30 8 38 21 16
1/17/21 CHI -6 -260 225 101 23 29 23 26 93 41 31 8 25.8 44.1 35 12 47 18 16
1/15/21 MIL -7.5 -320 230 109 23 24 34 28 97 45 36 13 36.1 46.4 40 11 51 22 9
1/13/21 CHA +3.5 +130 220.5 104 32 28 27 17 96 40 46 15 32.6 41.7 41 13 54 22 10
1/9/21 ORL -3.5 -330 218 112 36 20 29 27 79 39 40 20 50 49.4 38 6 44 25 17
1/7/21 DEN 0 0 0 124 22 21 33 33 87 42 40 16 40 48.3 37 7 44 27 13
1/7/21 DEN 0 0 0 124 22 21 33 33 87 42 40 16 40 48.3 37 7 44 27 13
1/4/21 HOU -4 -165 229.5 113 33 28 23 29 82 39 39 16 41 47.6 41 10 51 24 15
1/3/21 CHI 0 0 0 108 31 29 21 27 88 39 42 11 26.2 44.3 30 11 41 23 15
1/1/21 MIA +2 +110 224.5 93 20 26 27 20 78 32 37 12 32.4 41 45 4 49 18 16
12/30/20 CHA -4.5 -330 225 99 29 28 12 30 87 34 42 12 28.6 39.1 26 13 39 24 14
12/27/20 LAC -4.5 -198 0 124 36 41 27 20 87 43 41 14 34.1 49.4 43 11 54 25 6
12/25/20 LAL -6 -250 227.5 115 30 27 28 30 83 41 32 13 40.6 49.4 24 3 27 20 9
12/23/20 PHX -1 -120 232.5 102 22 23 26 31 85 36 37 9 24.3 42.4 33 6 39 17 11

Mavericks Team Defensive Stats

Opponent Vegas Points Allowed Shooting (Allowed) Rebounding (Allowed) AST Allow Defensive
Date Team Spread ML O/U TOT PTS Q1 PTS Q2 PTS Q3 PTS Q4 PTS FGA FGM 3PTA 3PTM 3PT% FG% DREB OREB TOT REB TOT ASS BLK STL
5/4/21 MIA -1 -110 216 113 39 15 23 36 84 39 41 18 43.9 46.4 31 8 39 30 4 6
5/2/21 SAC -6.5 +225 226 111 36 25 26 24 81 45 28 11 39.3 55.6 30 8 38 27 4 12
5/1/21 WAS -4 +165 232.5 124 26 39 32 27 91 47 19 6 31.6 51.6 32 14 46 19 4 6
4/29/21 DET +7.5 -290 212.5 105 26 28 29 22 71 36 29 10 34.5 50.7 36 3 39 26 2 6
4/27/21 GSW -5.5 +188 226 103 12 17 35 39 84 34 43 16 37.2 40.5 33 10 43 25 4 9
4/26/21 SAC +6.5 -250 225.5 113 31 28 28 26 81 42 29 13 44.8 51.9 35 11 46 23 2 9
4/24/21 LAL -1.5 +105 217.5 93 26 32 21 14 86 33 45 12 26.7 38.4 30 6 36 22 2 3
4/22/21 LAL -3 +130 216 110 26 25 39 20 90 43 30 10 33.3 47.8 33 12 45 26 5 11
4/21/21 DET -10.5 +460 217.5 117 36 22 32 27 79 40 32 13 40.6 50.6 35 7 42 30 2 8
4/18/21 SAC -9 +315 230.5 121 22 45 20 34 89 44 24 11 45.8 49.4 32 10 42 22 8 3
4/16/21 NYK -5 +172 210.5 117 34 22 27 34 86 44 28 14 50 51.2 36 9 45 22 7 6
4/14/21 MEM +2 -134 225.5 113 34 26 29 24 89 42 34 13 38.2 47.2 34 10 44 27 2 4
4/12/21 PHI +4.5 -165 217.5 113 30 30 28 25 80 39 31 12 38.7 48.8 34 6 40 24 3 7
4/12/21 PHI +4.5 -165 217.5 113 30 30 28 25 80 39 31 12 38.7 48.8 34 6 40 24 3 7
4/11/21 SAS -6 +210 221 119 26 25 37 31 83 45 21 8 38.1 54.2 31 10 41 20 3 5
4/8/21 MIL -2.5 +108 226.5 101 31 25 28 17 100 38 33 12 36.4 38 38 14 52 16 8 6
4/7/21 HOU +10 -560 222.5 102 24 23 28 27 88 38 44 17 38.6 43.2 39 10 49 21 5 4
4/5/21 UTA +2.5 -240 222.5 103 25 17 27 34 88 37 44 12 27.3 42 34 14 48 20 3 2
4/3/21 WAS +2.5 -196 228.5 87 19 28 20 20 86 35 25 5 20 40.7 35 9 44 12 4 7
4/2/21 NYK +5.5 -210 213.5 86 25 21 23 17 89 32 38 12 31.6 36 34 9 43 18 2 6
3/29/21 OKC +11.5 -700 221 106 24 39 20 23 81 38 26 9 34.6 46.9 37 10 47 17 3 11
3/27/21 NOP 0 0 0 112 35 18 27 32 81 42 26 9 34.6 51.9 34 8 42 20 4 2
3/26/21 IND -1.5 +100 226 109 31 30 21 27 87 38 47 20 42.6 43.7 36 13 49 26 4 4
3/24/21 MIN +8.5 -355 231 108 33 22 18 35 85 38 38 12 31.6 44.7 31 6 37 24 5 6
3/21/21 POR 0 0 230.5 92 30 24 15 23 89 34 41 9 22 38.2 24 9 33 17 3 4
3/19/21 POR +3.5 -148 231 125 37 27 29 32 93 44 47 22 46.8 47.3 30 13 43 17 4 4
3/17/21 LAC +0.5 0 226.5 89 29 22 20 18 88 37 32 9 28.1 42 29 8 37 22 7 7
3/13/21 DEN +0.5 -126 226.5 103 29 22 22 30 90 37 41 16 39 41.1 29 12 41 27 3 4
3/11/21 OKC +6.5 -230 218.5 116 35 27 27 27 91 41 32 16 50 45.1 39 16 55 25 9 4
3/10/21 SAS -4.5 +160 226.5 104 32 27 27 18 83 38 28 12 42.9 45.8 24 6 30 18 1 3
3/3/21 OKC -5 +175 219.5 78 23 19 19 17 87 29 39 9 23.1 33.3 37 8 45 13 3 8
3/1/21 ORL +7 -270 220 124 33 25 28 38 95 47 41 20 48.8 49.5 35 6 41 25 6 6
2/27/21 BKN -1 +100 233.5 98 26 38 18 16 86 35 44 14 31.8 40.7 33 14 47 21 8 12
2/25/21 PHI -5 +130 228.5 111 23 36 27 25 90 39 29 12 41.4 43.3 31 8 39 26 9 2
2/23/21 BOS +2 -130 223.5 107 31 25 20 31 86 41 39 12 30.8 47.7 34 12 46 19 1 5
2/22/21 MEM -4.5 +160 232.5 92 13 23 26 30 94 37 31 6 19.4 39.4 38 13 51 17 4 6
2/14/21 POR -5.5 +190 235.5 121 34 24 45 18 85 45 40 18 45 52.9 26 10 36 15 6 5
2/12/21 NOP -3 +130 233.5 130 34 31 36 29 90 48 37 17 45.9 53.3 29 9 38 31 2 4
2/10/21 ATL -3.5 +135 231 117 32 30 28 27 88 40 39 14 35.9 45.5 33 9 42 27 3 3
2/8/21 MIN -6.5 +385 226.5 122 22 29 26 45 91 42 42 18 42.9 46.2 34 7 41 27 7 4
2/6/21 GSW -4.5 +160 232.5 132 31 33 37 31 86 46 45 20 44.4 53.5 34 6 40 27 0 5
2/4/21 GSW -4 +155 229.5 147 36 38 36 37 89 51 43 22 51.2 57.3 41 4 45 37 3 2
2/3/21 ATL +2 -130 224 116 22 34 27 33 90 45 38 14 36.8 50 33 13 46 31 7 8
2/1/21 PHX -3 +114 219.5 109 22 25 30 32 92 43 35 13 37.1 46.7 34 11 45 19 7 9
1/30/21 PHX -1 +102 215 111 29 26 22 34 81 37 22 10 45.5 45.7 33 9 42 22 4 5
1/29/21 UTA -4 +155 223 120 37 24 33 26 87 38 48 20 41.7 43.7 39 17 56 21 4 6
1/27/21 UTA -2 +115 220.5 116 32 37 31 16 91 42 41 16 39 46.2 39 11 50 20 7 4
1/25/21 DEN +2 -130 223 117 38 32 22 25 79 40 35 15 42.9 50.6 35 14 49 25 4 11
1/23/21 HOU -9.5 +340 222 133 38 32 34 29 86 47 37 16 43.2 54.7 39 13 52 28 4 7
1/22/21 SAS +2 -135 223.5 117 34 24 27 32 89 41 28 12 42.9 46.1 40 9 49 21 2 3
1/20/21 IND +2.5 -140 221 112 28 35 29 20 92 41 39 16 41 44.6 30 8 38 21 6 5
1/18/21 TOR -4 +150 222 116 22 25 34 35 88 44 33 12 36.4 50 37 9 46 23 4 6
1/17/21 CHI -6 +220 225 117 27 40 22 28 85 43 25 7 28 50.6 42 5 47 32 2 6
1/15/21 MIL -7.5 +260 230 112 30 25 29 28 96 43 37 14 37.8 44.8 41 16 57 22 6 5
1/13/21 CHA +3.5 -150 220.5 93 16 27 29 21 100 38 38 10 26.3 38 38 15 53 26 12 8
1/9/21 ORL -3.5 +265 218 98 27 23 25 23 89 38 31 6 19.4 42.7 33 10 43 17 8 5
1/7/21 DEN 0 0 0 117 28 24 26 31 97 43 44 15 34.1 44.3 38 9 47 25 7 12
1/7/21 DEN 0 0 0 117 28 24 26 31 97 43 44 15 34.1 44.3 38 9 47 25 7 12
1/4/21 HOU -4 +145 229.5 100 21 28 28 23 77 30 40 11 27.5 39 28 7 35 17 3 4
1/3/21 CHI 0 0 0 118 31 28 27 32 85 39 37 13 35.1 45.9 37 11 48 16 4 6
1/1/21 MIA +2 -130 224.5 83 16 15 22 30 78 29 33 7 21.2 37.2 36 5 41 20 3 9
12/30/20 CHA -4.5 +265 225 118 36 32 30 20 84 43 34 15 44.1 51.2 38 12 50 30 6 10
12/27/20 LAC -4.5 +166 0 73 13 14 30 16 76 26 33 4 12.1 34.2 31 5 36 13 2 10
12/25/20 LAL -6 +205 227.5 138 33 36 30 39 91 51 39 19 48.7 56 36 17 53 33 3 13
12/23/20 PHX -1 -100 232.5 106 23 30 24 29 79 38 30 11 36.7 48.1 42 6 48 21 0 6

Mavericks Team Leaders

Points Per Game
L. Doncic
L. Doncic: 28.5
K. Porzingis: 20.2
T. Hardaway Jr.: 16.3
J. Brunson: 12.6
J. Richardson: 12.2
Assists Per Game
L. Doncic
L. Doncic: 8.9
J. Brunson: 3.4
J. Richardson: 2.7
J. Johnson: 2.1
T. Hardaway Jr.: 1.7
Rebounds Per Game
K. Porzingis
K. Porzingis: 9.1
L. Doncic: 8.1
D. Finney-Smith: 5.6
M. Kleber: 5.2
W. Cauley-Stein: 4.4
Steals Per Game
L. Doncic
L. Doncic: 1
D. Finney-Smith: 0.9
J. Richardson: 0.9
J. Johnson: 0.9
T. Burke: 0.6
Blocks per Game
K. Porzingis
K. Porzingis: 1.4
J. Johnson: 1.1
W. Cauley-Stein: 0.8
M. Kleber: 0.7
L. Doncic: 0.6

Mavericks Player Stats

NAME RTG MINS PTS AST REB STL Blk TO FG% FGM 3PTM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT%
Luka Doncic
94
2070 1684 523 475 58 34 257 48.7 598 176 494 35.6 0 312 431 72.4
Tim Hardaway Jr.
77
1786 1027 107 209 27 10 59 44 361 184 474 38.8 0 121 152 79.6
Dorian Finney-Smith
79
1722 521 88 295 49 23 40 46.8 193 107 269 39.8 0 28 35 80
Josh Richardson
78
1627 634 140 179 48 22 73 42.4 231 79 245 32.2 0 93 102 91.2
Jalen Brunson
77
1531 767 208 213 30 0 73 52 293 69 179 38.5 0 112 141 79.4
Maxi Kleber
74
1308 345 64 250 24 34 30 42.5 113 85 205 41.5 0 34 37 91.9
Kristaps Porzingis
90
1245 807 64 362 19 57 51 47.3 303 88 243 36.2 0 113 133 85
Trey Burke
73
814 378 75 46 34 5 30 44.4 140 54 145 37.2 0 44 50 88
Dwight Powell
75
794 283 40 191 33 21 32 59 98 5 21 23.8 0 82 107 76.6
Willie Cauley-Stein
74
794 246 30 201 17 36 23 62.5 100 1 10 10 0 45 72 62.5
James Johnson
74
389 138 34 62 14 17 21 40.8 53 12 48 25 0 20 31 64.5
Josh Green
74
356 76 21 64 13 3 17 43.1 31 3 21 14.3 0 11 17 64.7
Boban Marjanovic
77
251 142 9 122 2 6 10 50.4 57 0 6 0 0 28 34 82.4
Wesley Iwundu
69
192 42 6 35 5 1 11 36.8 14 2 16 12.5 0 12 15 80
Nate Hinton
70
58 23 5 6 5 1 5 39.1 9 1 8 12.5 0 4 6 66.7
Tyrell Terry
74
56 11 6 6 5 0 2 31.3 5 0 7 0 0 1 3 33.3
Tyler Bey
69
49 16 2 13 0 1 1 33.3 6 1 4 25 0 3 5 60

The 1990s weren't nearly as enjoyable for Mavericks' fans. Dallas made zero playoff appearances during the 1990s, including an abysmal two-year stretch starting in 1992 where they won only two-dozen games. When the calendar flipped to a new millennium, so did Dallas's basketball fortunes. One key that triggered a new philosophy in Dallas was new ownership. Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks in January 2020. Dallas, led by second-year eventual star Dirk Nowitzki, would inch closer to a .500 record by posting 40 victories. However, the Mavericks would complete a decade-long playoff drought by finishing ninth in the Western Conference.

It would be the last time Dallas would miss the playoffs for the next 12 seasons. During this stretch, the Mavericks would make it to a pair of NBA Finals, bringing the banner back to Big-D in 2010-11. However, the well has seemingly dried up in Dallas since. Statistically, the Mavericks have fallen in the middle of the pack both offensively and defensively. A few untimely injuries have weakened depth and created lineup problems. Across the last nine seasons beginning in 2011, Dallas has made five playoff appearances. Each has produced a quick exit. Dallas's best finish was as the sixth seed in the 2015-16 season.

The Mavericks have managed a total of seven victories in these five, seven-game series. After an atrocious offensive season in 2015-16, dead last in the NBA for points per game, Dallas has gradually improved their scoring. With Kristaps Porziņģis, Dallas has a formidable one-two European punch. Two additions, Josh Richardson and the pleasant surprise Willie Cauley-Stein should help the Mavericks establish improved consistency at both ends of the court as the season unfolds. With two solid stars in Porziņģis and Dončić, plus a capable supporting cast, Dallas should gradually become a formidable foe in the Western Conference. There is no reason not to expect the Mavericks to improve on their seventh seed finish a season ago to press for a top-four spot.