OTG Team Awards: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks began the season with expectations of making a playoff push in Dirk Nowitzki’s final season. Free agent signee (4 years too late) DeAndre Jordan and draftee Luka Doncic were supposed to bolster a lower-tier roster and propel them into contention. And then the Mavs shocked the NBA world and traded for an injured Kristaps Porzingis. This announced that the tank was officially on and the keys to the team were being handed over to phenom, Luka Doncic.
Sixth Man of the Year
This award would undoubtedly have gone to Dallas stalwart JJ Barea had he not suffered a catastrophic achilles injury. At age 34, one wonders if Barea will even be back after this calamity. In his stead, a trio of reserves played admirably: Dorian Finney-Smith, Jalen Brunson & Dwight Powell. Powell wins the hardware based on a PER of over 20. His per game averages are only pedestrian but he is generally doing the right thing on offense and defense. This isn’t glamorous but it gets the job done.
The Mavs future. No one still on the Mavs roster made a significant leap this season in production. What did happen is the Mavericks set themselves up for a bright future with two of the best under age 25 players in the world in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. With this duo, the squad is set up to make massive improvements in over the next few seasons.
Rookie of the Year
Luka was a revelation. His rookie year was on the short list of best ever and he should be the unanimous NBA ROY.
He is a 6’8 point forward with a deadly stepback three point shot and a bag of passing tricks that only a handful of players have ever possessed. He is a virtuoso with the basketball, plays with a feverish energy and just makes the game fun.
The world expects amazing things from this joyous, transcendent talent. Behold!
Defensive Player of the Year
Ummm...Maxi Kleber? Dwight Powell? Who cares! The Mavs didn’t much concern themselves with defense after trading away DeAndre Jordan, Dennis Smith, Jr. & Wes Matthews. This was a season about seeing what Luka could do on offense.
Most Valuable Player
Luka is the statistical MVP, but this award goes to the greatest player in Mavericks history- Dirk Nowitzki. This has nothing to do with on-court accomplishments this season because Dirk was more-or-less a non-factor. The team MVP award, in this case, is a culmination of 21 years as a superstar. Defying every prediction, prejudice or prognostication, Nowitzki cemented himself as the best european player of all-time and a top 20 NBA Hall of Famer. Luka is the future, Dirk deserves a statue.
Take a break and bask in the gloriousness of the sweetest shooting seven footer this world has ever seen.