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Mavericks Season Outlook

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Image of Luka Doncic on the court floor. | Image from Creative Commons.

The Mavericks.
In preparing for their fifth decade as among prominent NBA franchises, the Mavs have delivered mixed overall results to their fans and backers.

Playing mostly 82 game regular seasons, the aggregate Won-Lost record is remarkably even at 1,657 Wins, 1640 Losses. Playoff appearances have been numerous at 23, but only one NBA Championship Flag has been hoisted inside sparkling 19,200 seating capacity American Airlines Center. That arrived in Spring 2011, delivered by inspired coaching of Rick Carlisle — then in his 3rd year as the Mavs mentor — and the strong all-around play of German-born Power Forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Recent year First Round playoff eliminations triggered Carlisle’s resignation, reasons for which are as numerous and varied in media outlets as the range of motion attached to a Lebron James slam dunk.

Whatever, the reigns were handed over to 19 years — six with the Mavs, who selected him out of California with the #2 overall pick in the 1994 draft — NBA point guard veteran and Hall of Famer Jason Kidd. He now embarks upon his inaugural season as an NBA coach, so Maverick partisans sensibly wonder if his presence will maintain and perhaps improve upon recent campaigns.

Returning Mainstays.
Luka Doncic is the unquestioned star around which the Mavs galaxy revolves. The 6’7” all-purpose scorer out of Slovenia threw down 27.9 points per game last year on the strength of 49% shooting from the floor — including 36% from beyond the three-point arc. His numbers from the stripe could — and should — improve, as he connected on only 73% of Free Throw attempts.

Doncic is capably teamed by and works well in harmony with returning veterans such as Latvia native Kristaps Porzingas, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Reggie Bullock. The tactical idea is always floor spacing since Finney-Smith and Bullock are also sharp when putting it up from a distance.

Maxi Kleber, traditionally a defensive specialist, is felt by some as the logical fifth starter even though last year’s declines in his prowess were noteworthy and have been well documented.

Newcomers.
Many consider a shrewd acquisition; the Mavs obtained 7’2” 245 lb Center Moses Brown in a mid-Summer swap with the Boston Celtics in exchange for shooting guard Josh Richardson. The initial front office salvo from incoming General Manager Nico Harrison added much-needed bulk and muscle to the pivot while materially shaving team payroll.

He was in office for less than a month. Brown played for Oklahoma City last year in his NBA rookie season, where he averaged 8.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots while logging only 21.4 minutes per contest. He is being highly counted on, especially as the Mavs did not select the 2021 player draft, having exhausted its inventory in various earlier player trades.

The combination of Coach, Roster, and ubiquitous Owner Mark Cuban points to at least one feature of the coming season this team will not be stamped with boredom.