For Dallas Mavericks fans, there is so much to look forward too and so much left to be answered.
The Dallas Mavericks start the season on Wednesday, December 23rd against the revamped Phoenix Suns. This preseason the team went 2-1 and almost went undefeated, had they not lost in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves. While the exhibition games were limited, it still gave fans a taste of what to look forward to this upcoming season.
Here are three reasons to love the Mavericks this season and three things the team still needs to work on:
Advantage 1: Coach Rick Carlisle
Coach Carlisle is currently heading his 19th season as an NBA head coach and his 13th season with the Dallas Mavericks. Under coach, the team has missed the playoffs four times. His track record speaks for itself. His philosophy is centered on the rotation of team members and the development of players.
When given the right pieces, he can instill true defensive values. For example, players like Deshaun Stevenson and Dorian Finney Smith all saw their defensive presence improve under his calling. His ability to develop players is also another key trait Carlisle brings.
Look back at players like: Seth Curry, J.J. Barea and Luka Doncic. Curry saw his numbers drastically improve with Dallas, compared to his time with other teams. J.J. and Luka all found in-house success with the team. Seeing how coach handles the youth and defensive players of the team, will be something to look forward too.
Advantage 2: Youthfulness of the team
One thing that stands out this NBA season, is the youth and age of the Dallas Mavericks. Currently, the oldest player on the team is forward James Johnson at 33 years old and the youngest players on the squad are rookies Josh Green and Tyrell Terry.
Both players stand at 20 years-old. Not to mention that All-Star players Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are in their mid and early twenties. In the past, the team usually had a couple of experience veterans to help lead the team.
This season the team is projected to be a top-tier team in the Western Conference. One positive thing that comes out of youth, is the ability to run up and down both sides of the court. Just look back at the Boston Celtics, who used the draft and free-agency to become one of the top young teams in the league. If that says anything, it is that the Dallas Mavericks are on the rise.
Advantage 3: Luka Doncic
One final advantage is All-Star Luka Doncic. In just his second season, Luka solidified his status in the league as he was selected to the his first NBA All-Star game and was apart of the league’s All-NBA First Team. His presence was undeniable as he improved his points per game by 7.6 points and averaged a near triple-double in his first playoff appearance, clocking 31 points a game, 9.8 rebounds and 8.7 assists.
Who can forget his amazing buzz beater against the Los Angeles Clippers? If there is anything to be said, it is that Luka’s ceiling has yet to be discovered . The young guard is currently projected to be in the running for the league’s MVP award this season. If there is any reason as to why the Dallas Mavericks have a chance to be title contenders this season, it is because of their star, Luka Doncic.
While the team has plenty of promise this upcoming season, there is still so much work to be done.
Disadvantage 1: The Bench Play
Last season, the team struggled at times to get the offense going when Luka was on the bench. The leading scorer off the bench last season was guard Seth Curry so we all know his presence will be missed now that he’s with the Philadelphia 76ers.
One player who stood out during the bubble for the Mavs, was newcomer Trey Burke. Burke joined the team right before the start of the bubble and his presence was immediately felt as he averaged 12.3 points off the bench during the playoffs last season.
Besides Curry and Burke, no other player managed to averaged double digits for the team. With players Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell back and healthy for the team, the Dallas Mavericks will be looking for other role players to step up this season and contribute off the bench.
Disadvantage 2: Third All-Star
The Dallas Mavericks currently have a two-man punch of All-Stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis (KP). With the season starting this week, the Mavs will be without one of their stars because KP can’t play until early 2021.
This past offseason, the team struggled to sign an extra star to compliment Luka and friends. With Porzingis out, the team will need an extra player to step up in his presence. The team’s third leading scorer last season was guard Tim Hardaway Jr. who averaged 15.8 points per game. In the playoffs against the Clippers, Hardaway struggled to remain consistent and he failed to contribute for the team in the final game of the series.
In game 6, he went four for 15 from the field and two for 11 from behind the arc. While Hardaway will be required to step up in the absence of Porzingis, other players like Josh Richardson, Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson will all be required to step up.
Disadvantage 3: Team Chemistry
One final odd-spot the Dallas Mavericks must face is the team chemistry. Currently, the team has four rookies on the roster and three newcomers to the squad. With that being said, the biggest challenge the team will face is team chemistry.
With Josh Richardson being added to the starting lineup Luka will have to adapt to having a new wing added. Along with that, the absence of Porzingis will also play a part as the team will have to adapt once KP returns from injury. Only time will tell if the players will be able to mesh together and if the rookies and newcomers can adapt to the Mav’s system. Having Luka on the squad will make any player better, but having new players always comes with a challenge.
With the Dallas Mavericks’ season just days away there is so to be excited for as the team looks to regain its form as one of the top offensive teams in the league.
- Published on 12/22/2020 at 13:01 PM
- Last updated at 12/22/2020 at 10:37 AM