After blowing out the Nikola Jokic-less Denver Nuggets last Friday, the Dallas Mavericks were on the receiving end of a painful loss to the Colorado franchise on Sunday night. Making matters worse for Luka Doncic and co., it highlights what is becoming a concerning trend for the team.

Avid Mavs fans are well aware of this: Dallas just keeps losing against teams who are without their best players.

The loss to the Nuggets is only the latest example of that, as it has happened to the team in three previous occasions. The Mavs have seven losses so far, so that means more than half of their losses should have been winnable.

In their third game of the season, they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans, 113-111, who were without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. Then just a week ago, they gave up back-to-back games against the Orlando Magic and the Washington Wizards. Orlando was missing Paolo Banchero at the time, while Washington played in the absence of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis.

That is certainly not a good habit for Luka Doncic and the Mavs. They could have easily been at the top of the West right now had they won those very winnable games. But no, here they are in the middle of the standings, fighting everyday to stay in the playoff race.

Dallas has a good chance to make the postseason this 2022-23. But until they fix their issues against “weaker” teams, they can't expect to go the distance and improve from their West Finals run from last campaign.