The Dallas Mavericks finally have a product to be excited about this season but there are two players in which fans should temper their expectations…
There is so much to be excited about in Mavs Nation. After years of piecemealing rosters (devoid of star power and serving primarily as single season space savers) the Dallas Mavericks finally have cornerstones in which to build around.
As such, the 2019-20 NBA season looks to be an especially fun one since the Dallas Mavericks finally feature ascending talent with the ability to compete in the postseason. Fans were brought back down to earth after striking out in free agency, but that’s only after the Mavs already became the second-most improved team in the NBA.
But for as optimistic as we are, and for as excited we should be, there are a couple players in which we should temper our expectations. Not because they’re going to fail necessarily, but because of their circumstances they are set up to plateau, or even regress.
We touched on this a week ago, but J.J. Barea is going to have a tough time picking up where he left off. Last season was shaping up to be one of the best of his career. The point guard from Puerto Rico was averaging 10.9 points and 5.6 assists last season, and his second unit was the most consistent part of a generally inconsistent Dallas Mavericks team.
J.J.’s second unit didn’t just keep the Mavs in games, but they (and specifically him) won games when the starting unit could not. But one torn Achilles later and J.J.’s wonderful season came to a premature close, putting is future very much in doubt.
After just one season it’s clear, Jalen Brunson has been one of the Dallas Mavericks’ best second round picks – ever. But since much of that success can be attributed to his experience playing three full years of NCAA basketball, it’s his vast experience that limits his potential.
Brunson doesn’t have the same low floor as many young players because he’s honed his game. But he also doesn’t have the ceiling that others do because he’s already realized much of his potential. So while we can all expect Brunson to build on what he did last season, we shouldn’t expect giant leaps because he’s someone who’s closer to becoming a finished product than most second-year players.
Something working against both players is that they play the same position and will be jockeying for playing-time with each other. Normally we’d expect Coach Rick Carlisle to lean most heavily on his veteran guard, but the 35-year-old J.J. Barea may not be the man he once was. For a player who’s game is based on speed and explosiveness, this has the potential to be near career-ender.
For as excited as Mavs fans should be about the upcoming Dallas Mavericks season, they should be tempering their expectations for these two point guards.