Basketball

Dallas Mavericks Season Preview 2021-22

Luka Doncic Mavericks
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks lost in the first round of the playoffs against the Clippers after pushing them to 7 games. In this offseason, the goal was to build a championship contender. Luka Doncic has proven he has all the talent to be the best player on a title team. However, the offense has been reliant upon him with limited help. This caused fatigue in the playoffs, especially in the second half of games. Today we’ll analyze how the Mavericks resolved some of their holes this offseason.

Front Office

During this previous draft, the Mavericks did not have any draft capital. The Mavericks traded multiple picks to the Knicks in the Porzingis deal. However, they did have a complete overhaul in the front office. There were rumblings of Luka Doncic being unhappy with coaching and front office personnel. Cuban acted quickly to make sure his Luka would stay happy, relieving Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson of their duties. They then proceeded to hire Nico Harrison as their GM. A former Nike Executive who has relationships with players across the league. However, the coaching hire may be a bit confusing. The Mavericks decided to hire Jason Kidd as the new head coach. Kidd was an incredible player and talent, but his coaching career has been underwhelming. There have been rumblings of players having issues with Kidd’s coaching. Unless a change occurs, this may have been the wrong hire. 

Free Agency

What was supposed to be a huge free agency for the Dallas Mavericks ended up being quite disappointing. They had the cap space to go out and acquire a Spencer Dinwiddie or Richaun Holmes. Yet they missed out on both. However, they did add some pieces that should help their spacing issues. They brought in Reggie Bullock on a three-year deal. Bullock last season was a 41 percent three-point shooter. He’ll fit right in next to Luka. They also signed Sterling Brown, who shot a career-high 42 percent from the three. Both will be contributors right away. Bringing back THJ was the Mavs’ best move. Averaging career highs in nearly every category, Hardaway was a great fit next to Luka. He also provided the scoring when Luka was resting or playing off-ball. It was overall a solid offseason but far from great. 

Lineups

Starters: PG: Luka Doncic, SG: Reggie Bullock, SF: Tim Hardway Jr., PF: Dorian Finney-Smith, C: Porzingis

The starting lineups for the Dallas Mavericks should relatively remain the same. However, starting Bullock at shooting guard may be the best move for the Mavs. It’s always great to have more spacing, especially with a dynamic playmaker like Luka. It’ll make the Mavericks’ offense much more formidable. Finally, getting Porzingis more involved in the offense is a must for Jason Kidd. If Porzingis is healthy and plays as he did in New York. The Mavericks can be title contenders.

Bench: PG: Jalen Brunson, PG: Trey Burke, SG: Sterling Brown PF: Dwight Powell C: Willey Cauley-Stein

The Mavericks have a good mix of young and veteran guards in their lineup. Therefore, it’d make sense for them to have three guards play off the bench. However, not altogether. The minutes must be mixed where only two of Brunson, Brown, and Burke are playing together. Other than that, Powell and Cauley-Stein’s were always going to get minutes. Both were contributors last season and provide energy, shot-blocking, and lob threats. The Mavericks have a team full of solid players, but it’s up to the coaching to make it work.

Season Outlook

Despite an underwhelming offseason, I’d expect the Mavericks to be a top 5 seed in the West. With Luka Doncic on your team, you’ll always be one of the most competitive teams in the league. However, the coaching uncertainty prevents them from being higher. Along with that, they don’t have a true second star, and in the West, that’s a huge issue. I’d predict them to win about 47-50 games and have a second-round ceiling.

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  1. Pingback: Dallas Stars Season Preview 2021-2022 - Championship Sports Media

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