Dallas Mavericks Team Previewby Jackson Caudell October 10, 2021 0 comments
The Dallas Mavericks came oh-so-close to advancing to the Western Conference semifinals but were once again turned away by the Los Angeles Clippers. Superstar Luka Doncic had another fantastic season that resulted in All-NBA honors. After the season, Doncic inked a supermax extension and should be the face of the franchise for years to come.
However, it was not all good news for the Mavericks. Dallas decided to make a coaching change and former head coach Rick Carlisle left the team after a long tenure. The franchise hired former point guar Jason Kidd as the new head coach in a decision that will shape the season. Kidd was not great in Brooklyn or Milwaukee and how he has grown as a coach might be the biggest factor for the Mavericks going forward.
Dallas just might be the most intriguing team in the NBA this season.
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The headliner for Dallas was signing Doncic to the supermax extension this summer. Doncic has the potential to be the best player in the league and Dallas now has to make sure they are putting plenty of talent around him.
The other Maverick to get an extension was Tim Hardaway Jr., who has been a dependable scorer for Dallas and earned the money he got. Dallas signed away shooting guard Reggie Bullock from the New York Knicks; he will bring a good defensive presence to the team.
The Starting Five
PG – Luka Doncic
SG – Reggie Bullock
SF – Dorian-Finney Smith
PF – Kristaps Porzingis
C – Dwight Powell
The headliner of the starting five is, of course, Doncic. He raises the level of play of everyone around him and should be an MVP candidate once again season. Doncic is capable of putting this team on his back and carrying them as far as he can.
All eyes will be on Porzingis to see if he can stay healthy and put a terrible postseason behind him. Dallas thought it was getting the second superstar to put alongside Doncic by trading for Porzingis but instead was disappointed. Porzingis is under heavy pressure this season.
The lineup is rounded out by good defenders and three-point shooters in Bullock and Finney-Smith. Dallas will probably rotate at center between Powell, Cauley-Stein, and Maxi Kleber.
Dallas has two candidates for Sixth Man of the Year on its bench in Hardaway Jr. and Jalen Brunson. Those two guys can provide instant offense anytime that they are on the floor and will play huge roles for the Mavericks this season.
It will be interesting to see how the rest of the bench is going to shake out in terms of playing time. Trey Burke is talented but seemed to never be in Carlisle’s favor while he was the coach. It is going to be a rotating door of big men with Kleber, Cauley-Stein, and Marjanovic. Questions also surround Brown and guard Frank Ntilikina. It remains to be seen if they can carve out roles for Dallas or if there will not be enough minutes to go around.
One Potential Move to Make
This move has been heavily discussed, but if Goran Dragic is bought out by the Toronto Raptors, Dallas should leap at the opportunity to sign him. Dragic would give Dallas a secondary playmaker and ball-handler alongside Doncic and that is a big need of the team.
Dragic could slide into the starting shooting guard spot if he were to be acquired by the Mavericks. That would give them the flexibility to move Bullock to the bench and make Dallas a deeper team. There will be other teams interested if Dragic is bought out, but this seems like a no-brainer for Dallas and one that they should make instantly if given the opportunity.
The Mavericks are a team that could lose once again in the first round of the playoffs, though it is not the craziest scenario to see them going to the NBA Finals, either. That goes to show how good Doncic is; he has nearly single-handedly won series versus the Clippers the last two seasons.
The biggest question mark is Kidd. If Kidd tries to coach the same way that he did when he was in Milwaukee and Brooklyn, this could be a disaster. He has a lot to prove as a head coach in the NBA and this is a team that is looking to win now. Along with Kidd, Porzingis must step up this season. He is too talented to be a non-factor as much as he was last season. If he can stay healthy, Porzingis could be the key to a deep postseason run for Dallas. This is a team that is armed with a top-five player in the league and Doncic only getting better. Don’t sleep on the Dallas Mavericks this season.
Season Prediction: 49-33, First in the Southwest Division
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