2019-20 NBA Team Preview Series: Dallas Mavericks
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22nd and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Dallas Mavericks.
2018-2019 Record: 33-49, 5th in the Southwest Division.
Season Recap: The Mavericks entered last season with a new face of their franchise, Luka Doncic. It became clear early on that the goal was to build around Doncic and do whatever it takes to let him develop. Halfway through the season, the Mavericks started clearing room for the future, by trading away four starters in two separate trades. One of those deals brought in former all-star Kristaps Porzingis, who sat out the remainder of the season while he recovered from a previous ACL injury. Doncic won the Rookie of the Year award, however, the Mavericks fell to last in their division.
Key Loses: Devin Harris, G; Dirk Nowitzki, F; Trey Burke, G; Salah Mejri, C;
Key Additions: Delon Wright, G; Seth Curry, G; Boban Marjanovic, C
Preview: This season is going to be a first for the Mavericks. It will be the first time in over two decades that the Mavericks kick off a season without NBA legend Dirk Nowitzki. It will also be the first time in a long time that the Mavericks feature a promising young core. The offseason did not shake out like most fans were hoping it would. However, they did extend or re-sign many returning players, so the continuity and team chemistry should be strong going forward.
While they may not be championship contenders this season, if things work out as well as the front office is hoping, this team could sneak into the playoffs. Porzingis is going to have to prove he can stay healthy over the duration of the season, and Doncic is going to have to show that his shot improved, along with his conditioning.
The team did solve some of the defensive issues they faced last season by adding Delon Wright, as well as bringing in Seth Curry to help alleviate some of the 3-point shooting woes they experienced.
Player to Watch: Jalen Brunson
Team X-Factor: 3-point Shooting
Worst Case Scenario: Porzingis misses time again late in the season and a few of the role players do not live up to their contracts, forcing the Mavericks to miss the playoffs for the fourth year in a row.
Best Case Scenario: Doncic and Porzingis play at all-star levels, while a few of the role players take a leap forward. The Mavericks are able to sneak into the playoffs as a 7th or 8th seed.
Actual 2019-2020 Prediction: 44-38, 2nd in the Southwest Division.