Mavericks: 3 reasons the Mavs are a playoff team right now

With week one under their belts the Dallas Mavericks are a playoff team. Let’s take a look at how they’ve gotten off to such a good start and what they’ll need to do to stay there.

What a way to start the 2019-2020 NBA season. The Dallas Mavericks earned an impressive 3-1 start and are just a questionable coach’s review away from being 4-0. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis look nearly unstoppable, and the “bench mob” is proving to be a real weapon for the Mavs.

Luka and KP are going to be problem. I understand that this is week one, but the youngest duo in the League has been one of the most impressive. The Dallas Mavericks’ dynamic duo’s opening night 57 points are the most scored by a duo in their first game in NBA history.

The Dallas duo passed the likes of Magic Johnson and Kareem  Abdul-Jabbar(55), Steph Curry and Kevin Durant(53), and Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen(46). Putting the new look Dallas Mavericks’ in very exclusive company, and giving Mavs fans something to be excited about.

Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have combined for 168 points 48 rebounds and 32 assist through the first three games. The play of the “Euro-bros” has been exciting to watch. The two have worked together like they’ve been teammates for eight years instead of eight months.

The two young Mavs work seamlessly together in Coach Rick Carlisle‘s offense. An offense ranked fourth in the league through the first week averaging 108.9 points per game. The Dallas Mavericks will however have to improve on their 19th ranked defense to continue to have success this season.

Cool hand Luka

Luka has been nearly unstoppable on the offensive end so far. He seems a step faster after shedding around 20 pounds during the off-season. “Cool hand Luka” is using that quicker first step to put defenders on his hip, then using his craftiness and strength to get any shot he wants.

Maybe the most impressive thing Luka has done is taking the credit for the Mavs loss to the Portland Trailblazers. Doncic said he lost the game by settling for jump shots late in the game. To see this type of maturity and willingness to take accountability is great to see from a second year player.

The Unicorn

While Luka is using his new slimmer body to carve up defenses, Kristaps is using the 11 pounds of muscle he put on to gain and maintain position on the court. To quote the great Derrick Harper “is a baller.” Porzingis could already get to any spot he wanted to on the floor, and the attention paid to Luka is making life even easier for the “Unicorn”.

Porzingis can score in just about any way. Inside, outside, face up, back to the basket, with the jumper or off the dribble KP can get it done. The scariest thing about this duo is you can tell they’re still working out the kinks. Once Luka and Kristaps have time to learn each others tendencies they will push their way to the top of the NBA’s best duo list.

The Bench Mob

The Dallas Mavericks despite what national sports writers may say are a very deep team. A team so deep in fact that Coach Carlisle has yet to decide on a starting line up. Rick has instead let matchups dictate who gets the start, rolling out a different line up every game through the preseason and first three games.

Rick then makes several substitutions throughout the game keeping fresh legs on the court at all times. This strategy seems to work helping the Mavericks to make up double digit deficits in the first two games.

Jalen Brunson is a really smart basketball player. The two time NCAA champion always makes the right play. Rather it be pulling back out to set up the offense in transition, or attacking the basket to put pressure on a defense slow to get back Brunson always seems to make the right call. Brunson is shooting just 37% from the floor so far but once he finds his touch Jalen will help to open up the floor even more for his teammates.

One of the the teammates that should benefit from Brunson’s improved shooting is Delon Wright. Wright has been able to knife through defenses and finish in traffic. Delon is averaging 11 point per game shooting a blistering 66.7% from the field and 75% from behind the arch.

Wright is a lock down defender and efficient scorer but it would be nice to see him become more aggressive attacking the basket. Hopefully with more time Delon can get his scoring average up around 15 points per game adding more stress to opposing defenses.

Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway jr., Justin Jackson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber have all played very well for the Dallas Mavericks so far in this early season. All of these guys have looked good on both sides of the court. We have still yet to see Mavericks bigs Boban Marjanovic and Dwight Powell on the floor. Powell has a hamstring injury that has kept him out of action most of the year.

The Mavericks have been missing Powell’s energy and threat for the lob pass. Coach Carlisle has yet to see a  favorable match-up for the 7’3″ Boban Marjanovic. Boban’s big body will help with rebounding and he’s a great rim protector. His lack of foot speed however makes him a liability against bigs that can shoot the three.

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Next: How Luka and KP are exceeding expectations

The Dallas Mavericks are off to a great start this season and with more time together this could be a very special group. The Mavs are a ton of fun to watch. They share the ball and play hard on both sides of the court. If Luka and KP continue to play on an all-star level the Dallas Mavericks will make their first playoff appearance since the 2015-16 season.