Can Luka and Kyrie succeed in Dallas

The Brooklyn Nets traded their star PG Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for SG Spencer Dinwiddie, SF Dorian Finney-Smith, along with a 1st round & a couple 2nd round picks.  Putting Dinwiddie back in Brooklyn again, where he played for 5 previous seasons, where he was respected and played well, putting up 14ppg and 5apg while there. So the Mavs went and grabbed another superstar, to add to the team who should bring immediate help to their team. It looks to be a step in the right direction. Personally, I felt the Mavericks really needed a center. But they grabbed PG Kyrie Irving instead, showing that Dallas is obviously thinking about this season. They made their big move and made it count, adding a career 23ppg in Kyrie to their backcourt.

Kyrie has certainly had his history of problems. Brooklyn almost had to trade him, with the problems that he brought, as Irving, most recently, blasted his team, the entire franchise and the Brooklyn fans. He did not have a smooth playing career while playing with the Nets over just 3.5 years playing in Brooklyn. He screamed about a trade, now has gone to a lehit championship contender with a potential MVP on it and he has a legit chance. He couldn’t possibly ask for more in his situation. Of course, we have seen blockbuster trades in the past like this that destroy a team’s chemistry and actually makes the team worse. Can this be another?

Luka has been the whole offense for Dallas, averaging 33 ppg and 8 apg, while taking 27% of the team’s shots. This trade takes pressure off of him, as Kyrie can do more than his share of damage to defenses – and this should stop the defense from double teaming him as much, because there’s another serious scoring threat on the court. I think Kyrie can play the PG more, while Luke slides in at more SG. And it could be much more dangerous now to just focus on Luka when there is someone added to the team that has more than the capability to light up a team on any given night.

GMs should take chemistry into consideration when building a team. Now, I don’t hate this trade – but it is a bit risky. It’s really easy to see these two struggling to coexist on the court, as they both play best with the ball in their hands, that has been the way they are most effective. But, Kyrie is not just a spot up shooter, he can shoot off catch and shoot well, and he’s also really exceptional off the dribble. In contrast – Lebron is a ball dominant player as well, and Kyrie and him worked in Cleveland because Kyrie was able to work off the ball. In 2015, Kyrie still averaged 20ppg, which went up to 27 /game in the Finals. Maybe people choose to forget that stuff to fit their narrative. With this trade, Luka can now focus on playing more SG while Kyrie plays more PG, or they can switch things up between them to be a favorite for the NBA Playoffs.

The Mavs offense is off whatever Luka sets up, he will now be expected to share the ball with Kyrie. Luka is not used to playing much without the ball, he always has the ball in his hands, he has always been the focal point of their offense. Which is why Kyrie will have to adapt to him, on his team. As good as Kyrie is, and regardless of his pouting and eccentricities – he is a very good player, I just don’t know how I would feel about having his attitude in the organization. Many are concerned that the “Kyrie drama” will creep in by the beginning of next season. You never seem to know when he’s gonna go off the deep end. If he can keep it together, and they learn how to coexist – Dallas definitely just became a top contender in the West, possibly for the next several years. I just think if Dallas could’ve gotten a legit big who could score and rebound they would have made a better move for the odds on Vegas favorite.

Do the Dallas Mavs have high expectations

Many people believe the Dallas Mavericks are one of the “new hopes” of the NBA. But, they still have to prove they can play atop the Western Conference with the big boys – and they have to prove they can go and take it – by not letting LA run roughshod. I think we can all agree the Mavericks are getting better and, perhaps, can win the NBA championship – of course it is possible for Luka and company.

They are currently tied up at 2 games apiece in the playoffs.
What should we expect, and what could we expect?
They have a solid combination of scorers who can pound teams quickly, before opposing defenses are completely set up, Dallas is sitting at 3rd in the NBA at 116 ppg. They have a very efficient style that is a lot of fun to watch.

It’s scary to think about how nasty the Mavs can be, if all on the same page. Especially as Luka Doncic is still just 21 years old – and I don’t think he has come close to moving into his prime yet, he is only getting better. His numbers have been remarkably dynamic over the last 2 seasons, so it’s hard to imagine he is just going to fade away anytime soon. The rock will be in his hands, a lot – and good things always happen, when that happens. I fully expect Luka to be the impressive offensive player he always has been.

Doncic led the Dallas Mavericks in scoring in last seasons journey with 21ppg, as well as assists per game at 6.0 – but they finished at just 33-49. Which was rough, they had been a steady 50-55 win team since 2000 – with 12 seasons winning 50 or more games since then, but recently had started to slip. Luka is and always will be a very tough cover, his shooting and skills on the court are without question, the soul of this team.
Kristaps Porzingis – the deadly PF – still needs to improve his post up game down low, in my opinion. This will put him even that much tougher to defend, with his size and shooting skills – but it would also put Porzingis in a better position to use his 7-3 length and get more rebounds.
His 9.5 rpg is solid, but could be a 12-13/game player.
Another area that he can improve in, is his passing – he plays it safe, always looking to just making the safe play – he doesnt punch when in the corner. I don’t want risky – but someone who fights back with a couple haymakers when shoved in the corner. Porzingis rarely takes any risks with his passing, he seems to be preoccupied with making the “right” decision. The 7-3 Latvian rarely drives and kicks out – I would expect that to keep improving with Luka and Hardaway lurking around the arc, knocking it down from downtown.
But, overall, Porzingis has been stellar over his 4 year career. He has really shown what he can do in Dallas – and he is showing it off, and has had 3+ turnovers in a game only 9 times this season – but has also had 3+ assists in just 15 games this season as well.
One of the biggest questions for the Mavs will be – is Tim Hardaway getting around the 15 shots/game that he was getting over the last 2 seasons timeframe. Something is going to have to give being that he is surrounded by so many other scoring options in Dallas, and there are more important things to do for the team. His scoring ability is underrated – but they have some big time players just like VegasTopDogs has big time handicapping experts.
This season, he has been getting up an average of 12.6 shots /game, and when he is putting up 16 or more shots /game – the Mavs have not been winning – his ball movement is more important to their winning ways. When Tim gets 16 shots up, the Mavs are just 5-9, when he gets 4+ assists the Mavs are 9-4.
The most interesting member of Dallas will likely be the veteran Hardaway – with Luka and Porzingis as far bigger scoring options. The 27 year old SG was dropped into the scoring option 3 spot for this team – as his numbers had been trending upward over the 2016-2018 seasons, going from 14 to 18ppg since 2016. But with Doncic scoring at a 29ppg clip, and Porzingis getting his 19 /game – Tim getting his scoring chances can be inconsistent.
The Dallas Mavericks have made the end of the season, and the upcoming NBA playoffs very exciting. Regardless of whether the Mavericks win it all during this weird NBA season, they have a fun talented team to watch – and there are even better days ahead in Dallas – without question. If they dont prevail in the playoffs vs the Clippers or Lakers – it’s perfectly understandable. As fun and exciting as Dallas look on paper, it takes a lot to win it all – many forget that many great teams have been beaten in the NBA playoffs with even better teams. If the Mavs lose, you can’t pin it on Luka or Porzingis – but if the Mavericks win it all – it would be pretty amazing.