The Dallas Mavericks are a team with great potential. Ever since they acquired the face of their franchise, Luka Dončić in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Trae Young, they have become an exciting team to watch.
Luka Dončić, who is the youngest European to win the MVP in the EuroLeague, had faced criticism from many analysts who stated that he was ‘soft’ and that he wouldn’t be able to cope in the NBA. Boy where they wrong!
He made an immediate impact as soon as he stepped on to the court earning the ‘Rookie of the Year’ with averages of 21.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 6 apg becoming one of only 5 players to average 20, 5 and 5 in their rookie season. He pushed the Mavericks back into playoff contention in his sophomore season since the 2015 playoffs.
However, with great performance comes great criticism and Luka’s inability to win a playoff series have caught the eyes of the critics. Mind you Luka is just 22 years old and people are already berating him for not getting past round 1 of the playoffs.
Problems in Dallas’ Management
The problem that the Dallas Mavericks faced was putting proper complementary pieces around Luka. The acquisition of Kristaps Porzingis was done to pair Luka with another All-Star to ease his load. This turned out to be a disaster as Porzingis could not regain his All-Star level plays since his injury and continued being unhappy with the role he had to play with.
Nevertheless, Porzingis was traded in the trade deadline to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Dinwiddie can take the ball handling and playmaking duties easing Luka’s burdens but can be inconsistent. Bertans is just a big man who would make 3’s and has no defensive presence.
Luka has been doing all he can, making his teammates better but it will not be enough to beat the likes of the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Utaz Jazz or even the Memphis Grizzlies. The Dallas Mavericks are currently in the 5th place in their conference and it seems likely that they would finish the regular season with that spot. A loss in the first round of the playoffs would put a dent in Luka’s legacy and the fans won’t hesitate in pulling any punches to knock the superstar.
On the other hand, if Dallas were to win a series then it would be met with great optimism from their fan base. Players would also want to play with Luka which would help them bolster their roster for the next season. The Mavericks better get that win this season no matter what for their probable future else they would have to go through some really difficult times.