The Dallas Mavericks are playing a quality brand of basketball right now. On Wednesday, they defeated the Miami Heat on the road by a final score of 111-92 to clinch the Southwest Division title. Of course, Dallas has greater aspirations than simply making the playoffs, but there is no question that this Mavs team is in a good position at the moment. But can they make an NBA Finals run?

Head coach Jason Kidd knows a thing or two about winning with the Mavs. He was a star while playing in Dallas, and now Kidd is leading the team as the head coach. Following Wednesday's victory, Kidd compared the Mavs 2023-24 team to their 2011 championship-winning squad.

“Well I think the biggest thing is, they're a team,” Kidd responded when asked what qualities make the Mavs a championship contender. “We talk about Luka (Doncic) and Kai (Kyrie Irving) a lot, but there's a lot of pieces to this puzzle that make this thing go. So, very similar to the '11 team. When you talk about Dirk (Nowitzki) and Jason Terry, they had a lot of older guys that didn't get the attention but knew their job and did their job at a high level. It was just all about winning. And I think when you talk to these guys it's all about winning.

“No one is into the stats. There will be some individual awards here for some of those guys that deserve it. But at the end of the day it's all about team and they care for one another.”

As Kidd mentioned, there will be some individual awards. The entire Mavericks team has supported Luka Doncic's MVP candidacy. Even NFL superstar Patrick Mahomes gave Luka support for the award.

In the end, though, the Mavs just want to win the franchise's first championship since 2011.

2011 Mavericks set the example

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) celebrates after hitting a three point basket in the fourth quarter of game five against the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Western Conference Finals of the 2011 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Mavs beat the Thunder 100-96.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dirk Nowitzki receives the majority of the attention whenever the 2011 Mavs come up in conversation. And that is understandable, as Dirk was obviously a superstar. There is a reason for the Dirk Nowitzki statue outside of the American Airlines Center after all.

But Kidd noted that the 2011 Mavericks featured depth and a willingness to win, and he is certainly correct in his assessment. Kidd, of course, was on that 2011 team. He was nearing the end of his career at that point but still played a big role for Dallas.

Meanwhile, Jason Terry, another player Kidd mentioned, was impressive during the season. Dallas probably would not have been as successful as they were without Terry's contributions.

Other players such as Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, and Tyson Chandler helped matters as well. Dallas utilized a complete team effort to power through the Western Conference playoffs and upset the talented Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

2023-24 Mavs trending in a positive direction

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) celebrates with Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023-24 Mavs may mirror the 2011 team from a chemistry standpoint, but there are also a number of specific statistics that will remind fans of that championship squad. One such stat surfaced following Dallas' victory over the Heat Wednesday, via ESPN Stats & Info and Tim MacMahon.

The Mavericks are 16-2 over their past 18 games played. That alone is impressive, but MacMahon reports that this is the first time the Mavs have gone 16-2 during an 18-game stretch since 2011.

As aforementioned, the Mavericks clinched a division title on Wednesday. Kyrie Irving was asked about winning the division following the victory over the Heat.

“It feels great,” Irving said. “We earned it and we did it under some crazy circumstances within our season. Just injures, trades, just uncertainty on how we were going to figure out the defensive end. There was a lot of expectations on our team at the beginning of the season personally or individually and then just externally from the basketball cultural world knowing how special me and Luka are. But we knew we weren't going anywhere without us having some great guys alongside us playing selflessly and then us playing selflessly.

“Put our best foot forward towards being better leaders every day, continuing to get better. I think that mentality led us to 50 wins. So it's a total organizational effort, you know, top to bottom.”

Dallas' chemistry has been a major factor behind their success over the past couple of months. The Mavericks are playing well both from an individual and team standpoint, and the entire Western Conference has surely taken notice.

Dallas will battle the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs in what projects to be a competitive series. For now, the Mavericks will focus on finishing the regular season on a high note. With two games remaining, the Mavs will host the Detroit Pistons on Friday before going head-to-head in a road clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.