Mavericks Powering Through the West; Can They Keep Up The Pace?


The League has been the best it’s been in a long time, and all the fans are enjoying it. Lakers are the top team in the West, Giannis is just getting better every season and the Warriors are no longer the best team in the league. Along with many other exciting things going on in the NBA, one thing that most are surprised about is that the Dallas Mavericks have held their spot in the top 5 teams in the West since the beginning of the season. Currently holding the 3rd spot in the West, formally holding the 2nd spot just behind the Lakers, the Mavericks don’t look like the team we saw last year. With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis forming one of the league’s best dynamic duos, they’re looking like a stampede of stallions; either get run over or move aside because the Mavericks are the new Western addition to teams contending to win an NBA championship.

Luka Doncic has had an amazing outbreak in the season so far. Averaging 30 points, 9.8 rebounds and 9.2 assists, he doesn’t look like a 2nd year player but rather a 6th season tenured MVP. The race for the Most Valuable Player award is always a fun one to watch, former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Lebron James being the recent favorites for the award, with Luka just trailing behind Lebron. Despite Giannis winning the race by a good margin so far, there are still 59 games for Luka Doncic to make his case, and quite frankly, Luka could very well pull ahead of Lebron and give Giannis a run for his money if he continues to perform the way he is. 

With Luka Doncic leading the Mavericks towards a very promising season, Kristaps Porzingis has joined Doncic to form their duo and has been performing very well for a player that has come back from a season ending injury. Porzingis didn’t play a single game last season, and most people speculated that he wouldn’t come back and play the way he used to in New York, but his stats so far have countered all former claims. Playing 22 games for the Mavericks, he’s putting up 16.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. Although his scoring is down from the 22.7 points per game he put up for the New York Knicks two years ago, we must take different factors into context. For instance, he’s playing again after missing a whole season due to injury, and Doncic is dominating the scoring. Even with his scoring down, he’s already putting up a career high of 8.7 rebounds per game. 

Porzingis and Doncic together have created a new structure of how the Mavericks play basketball. Along with the dynamic duo, players such as Tim Hardaway Jr, J.J Barea and Seth Curry have supplied great scoring alongside Luka and Porzingis. Hardaway has been putting up 13.2 points per game while shooting 38 percent from 3 point. Seth and J.J tally 16.9 points together, with Barea shooting an impressive 58.8 percent from 3 point. Along with other seasoned players such as Courtney Lee, Delon Wright and Dwight Powell, the Mavericks are looking pretty good, despite their depth.

Their depth as a team is lacking, and if Porzingis or Doncic were to get hurt, it would practically cancel their plans to make it all the way to the Playoffs. Porzingis getting hurt would be rough, but manageable, by simply putting Dwight Powell to the power forward and putting Marjanovic on the center position. However, having Doncic injured would totally dismantle the Mavericks’ record. Their best player, who is putting up 30 points per game, almost averaging a triple double on the season and is in the MVP talks, ends up getting injured? They would have to put J.J Barea or Jalen Brunson on the starting five, and neither of them can play even half as good as Luka Doncic. 

Depth is a problem for the Mavericks, and it could very well be their downfall. As long as Doncic and Porzingis pace themselves and stay healthy while continuing to play at the rate they’re going at, it should be a moderately easy path to the playoffs. Whether they keep their position in the West is questionable, but if they aren’t the 3rd team in the West by the time playoffs come around, they will definitely be a top 5 team. If the Mavericks explore change in their roster next season, trading some players around to get a better backup point guard, this Mavericks team as a whole has a chance to be around in the top 5 in the West for years to come, but as long as Doncic remains loyal to the franchise, which would most likely guarantee Kristaps staying, then this team can win an NBA Championship in the next 2-4 years. 

The one issue with my theory is that the Lakers, containing Lebron James and Anthony Davis, are going to most likely reign the West for a while, but with small rumors going around that Anthony Davis is considering the Chicago Bulls as his next destination in the next season, that theory might just become a little more realistic than you think.

Then there’s the issue of the Clippers. Based on the players on the Clippers team, they are the second best team in the West, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leading a team with an amazing cast and depth, they would hypothetically become the best team in the West if Anthony Davis left next year, leaving Lebron at square one just like a season ago. At that rate, the Mavericks could possibly lock into a battle with the Lakers for the second spot in the West, depending on how Lebron James performs, and end up taking the spot just behind the Clippers. 

In the next 3-4 years, Luka Doncic will likely have an MVP award. If he won the award this year, he would be one of the first players to win the Rookie of the Year award and the MVP award back to back, and if he won the award next year, he would be in the same club as Derrick Rose. Even if he doesn’t win the award in the next two years, he still makes history, getting himself into a group of the greatest players to ever play the game. 

Luka Doncic is the Dallas Mavericks’s beam of light; with him leading the charge, Dallas can build a new reputation in the West, win an NBA championship in the next 2-4 years, attain new horizons for the franchise’s future and Doncic could live out his whole career at the Mavericks and possibly finish his career with a couple MVP awards and an NBA championship ring. For Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks, the sky’s the limit.