Dallas Mavericks: 5 Intriguing storylines heading into training camp

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

The time has come for Dallas Mavericks’ fans: training camp is finally here and the NBA season is underway. For Dallas fans, that means plenty of Luka Doncic and more of his amazing highlights. The excitement has finally hit its course as the preseason is less than five days away and the regular season is just under 20 sleepless nights.

With the Dallas Mavericks just getting started, we take a look at five storylines heading into training camp.

Jason Kidd’s team is in full effect, as the Dallas Mavericks put all their trust into their former veteran.

With that being said, let us examine the top topics that will center around Kidd’s team:

 1. Is a healthy Kristaps Porzingis, a true number two?

The last time KP had a true non-injury season dates back to, wait no one in the league has yet to see the seven-foot forward at full strength. For the Mavs, a healthy “unicorn” could do wonders. This would allow the team to provide him with number one minutes whenever Doncic is off the court. It would also give the team a true double digit scorer they can rely on.

It is expected that coach Kidd has big things in store for KP and if this holds true, we just might see a player we’ve never seen before. With a new game plan in place, a healthy Porzingis might just be the antidote the team is missing to get over the first round hump.

2. How good are the men down low?

Another key story heading into training camp is the play of Dallas’s big men. As it stands, the team did not much to improve their depth down low. One key addition however, was the signing of Moses Brown. The former Thunder is coming off one of his best seasons, where he averaged a near double double in terms of points and rebounds. Give it time, and he could develop into a Christian Wood type player.

Along with Brown, the team’s center core consist of Dwight Powell, Willie Cauley-Stein and Boban Marjanovic. It is expected Powell will be the starting center at the beginning of the season. Give it a couple months though, and we might just see Brown take over the top spot.

We can only hope that the work players have putting in with former Mavs Tyson Chandler comes in handy.

3. Can Hardaway Jr. take his game to the next level?

Like Porzingis, the Mavs are waiting for guard Tim Hardaway Jr. to get back to his old New York ways. You see, during the 2018-2019 season Hardaway Jr. balled out for the Knicks. That year he averaged 19.1 points per game to go with 2.7 assists. While the passes may not seem a lot, those numbers are actually career averages.

Imagine a healthy KP and Doncic running the court, surrounded by a player averaging close to 20 points. This would allow Dallas to space the floor, while also giving them a one-two-three punch they have never seen before. Teams around the league are now surrounded with big threes and giving Dallas that option would allow them to be competitive.

4. Who is Frank Ntilikina?

Can the real Frank Ntilikina please stand up? Dallas went out on a limp and signed another the former Knick. Ntilikina is a bust some eyes, but in others he is considered one of the top defenders in the league. One question that must be answered is, which one will the Mavs be getting?

Have you seen his highlights? The former Knick gave Doncic quite a headache on the floor. If he can continue this trend on opposing scorers then Dallas might have found themselves a jewel. Honestly I think Ntilikina is the perfect fit here. You see back in New York he was overshadowed by the teams number of guards. For the Mavericks, he will act as the three point guard behind Doncic and Jalen Brunson. That is a perfect spot for him as he develops within the system and transition into a true role player. We can only hope the real Frank Ntilikina has come to Dallas.

5. Is Kidd the real man for the job?

One final burning question is: Can Jason Kidd lead Dallas back to the promise? During his tentative coaching career, Kidd has struggled to be an above average coach. He had two brief stints with the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. During his coaching career he had a nine and 15 playoff record.

Contrast the former Mavs coach Rick Carisle who has an NBA championship under his belt.

I have faith Kidd can have the same type of success Carisle had while in Dallas. The biggest concern will be: just how long will it take for his work to show? Because we all know Doncic’s time is ticking and we don’t want to waste a minute of it.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: 3 possible additions that make sense. dark

While there is much uncertainty regarding the team, I think we can agree on one thing: basketball season is back.

Now we can only hope the time is now for the Dallas Mavericks.

  • Published on 10/01/2021 at 11:45 AM
  • Last updated at 10/01/2021 at 11:45 AM