The Dallas Mavericks are expected to be one of the top teams in the league this season. This, of course, is due in large part to the star that is Luka Doncic. Dallas, however, started the season sluggishly at 0-2 but won their first game by a 51-point margin against the Los Angeles Clippers. It’s early to overreact on anything, but here are three early thoughts.
Dallas Mavericks: Three Early Thoughts
Luka Doncic is Fine
There might be panic early on due to Doncic not averaging a 30-point triple-double. It says a lot about the player he is if his current averages of 28-7-7 are seen as underperforming.
However, he is playing some tough defense and consistently attacking the basket. That will prove to be huge down the road. He also has the highest Player Efficiency Rating on the team, one that should rise when Kristaps Porzingis makes his return.
There should be no distress regarding Doncic – his ascent to stardom last season was pretty much unforeseen and he will return to those levels of play in no time. The season is young, as is Doncic.
Josh Richardson and the Dallas Mavericks are a Perfect Pairing
The move for Josh Richardson during the offseason is already paying off. It was tough for the Mavericks’ faithful to see Seth Curry go, along with his lights-out shooting, but a player like Richardson was desperately needed.
First of all, much can be said about Richardson’s perimeter defense. He instantly became the team’s top defender and has thrived in that role so far. He doesn’t shy away from anyone, and a defensive wing rotation of him, Dorian Finney-Smith, James Johnson, and Wes Iwundu will prove to be great as the season progresses.
Besides that, Richardson is quite talented offensively as well. He’s averaging 17 points per game so far and scored 13 in the first quarter against the Clippers. This comes off of shooting 40 percent from three. His long-range shots may not be quite as good as Curry’s, but his added defense more than makes up for that.
The Big Men Need Help
They all lack effort when it comes to rebounding, which is odd due to their size. Perhaps these are early season woes, but either way, it needs to be fixed. All of these players are at least 6-foot-10 and there’s no reason why Doncic has to grab the majority of rebounds every night.
The return of Porzingis will certainly help. He’s massive, of course, and a very solid rebounder. In addition, his length will help on defense when it comes to altering shots and protecting the paint.
He’s clearly the second-best player on the team and will help the offense exponentially. However, if Porzingis cannot help fix the rebounding and defensive issues for the big men, a trade for someone else may be on the cards. This will not involve Porzingis, but makes a lot of other players expendable.
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