The Dallas Mavericks have a lot of questions to answer this season. Will Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis be able to coexist? Can Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews return to their old form? Can the team make it past the first round of the playoffs?

The kris porzingis is a player that has been on the Dallas Mavericks roster for a short time. They have yet to prove if they can work together, but their potential is there.

The Dallas Mavericks Potential Starting Lineup: Luka Doncic And Kristaps Porzingis Have To Prove It Can Work

The Dallas Mavericks bring back a similar core that hopes to go over the hump after two consecutive seasons of finishing in the first round. This summer, the Mavericks made just two additions, with Reggie Bullock leading the free agency class. Based on their actions, it seems that the franchise will give Jason Kidd one more year to test whether its superstar duo can work together.

Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic were expected to be a dynamic combination. Both are still relatively young, with their primes just around the corner. However, the two have nothing to show for a club that hasn’t advanced beyond the first round since winning the NBA title in 2011.

Can Doncic and Porzingis push Dallas into the playoff picture now that almost the whole club is back after a 42-30 season?


Luka Doncic, point guard

Luka Doncic

Although the MVP race is still a long way off, Doncic would be a safe pick if money were no object. Doncic, who is 22 years old, is the NBA’s future face when LeBron James and Kevin Durant retire. At his age, he is showing ability that none of us has seen since we were children. Doncic averaged 27.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.6 assists last season. If he averaged a triple-double this season, no one would be surprised.

Doncic is in his fourth year of professional basketball. He is now one of the most entertaining players to watch, but if he wants to be regarded as the league’s Mt. Rushmore, he must lead his club to more victories and a better seed in the conference rankings. In Doncic’s three seasons with the Mavericks, they have never finished higher than a fifth seed.


Tim Hardaway Jr., Shooting Guard

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Many people believed Porzingis was the deal’s crown gem when the Mavericks acquired him in a trade. Hardaway Jr. has been the Mavericks’ core component in terms of consistency, which is why the shooting guard was re-signed. Hardaway scored 16.6 points per game last season and shot 39.1% from three-point range.

Is Hardaway one of the league’s greatest shooting guards? Certainly not. He’s never hit more than 40% from three-point range, and his career best in points was 19.1 in New York in 2018, when the Knicks were a terrible club. As a result of Porzingis’ injury, Hardaway has been asked to be the second-best player on the floor. That isn’t his job. If Hardaway can reclaim his position as the club’s third option, the squad may be more balanced.


Dorian Finney-Smith, Small Forward

Dorian Finney-Smith

Finney-Smith set a career best with 32.0 minutes per game last season. He improved his total shooting percentage (47.2%) and his outside shooting percentage (39.4%), both of which were career highs. Finney-Smith, in fact, has gradually improved his outside shooting, improving his overall total by 10% since 2017.

9.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game are not bad statistics for a small forward. Finney-Smith has a defensive rating of 112, which is higher than the league average of 110. He understands his job, but he monitors his three-point shooting. Is he capable of reaching 40% or higher?


Kristaps Porzingis, Kristaps Porzingis, Kristaps Porzingis, Kristaps Porzingis

Credit: USATSI

courtesy of USATSI

When Porzingis was moved, he had yet to play a game due to a ruptured ACL. In the next two seasons, Porzingis and Doncic only played 100 regular-season games together. He only played in 43 games last season, averaging 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds.

Porzingis, when healthy, is a 7-foot-3 unicorn who can stretch the floor. His field-goal percentage of 47 percent was the highest of his career, which bodes well for next season. His health, on the other hand, has been a significant concern for the last three years. The skill has always been there, but putting it on the court has always been a question mark.


Dwight Powell (center)

Dwight Powell

Powell was re-signed by Dallas on a three-year contract in 2019, after a season in which he led the league with a 134.6 offensive rating and was ninth in win shares per 48 minutes. You wouldn’t think that from a guy who only averaged 5.9 points and 4.0 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game last season, would you?

Powell, on the other hand, spent the most of last year recovering from an injury he suffered the year before. He should be in good health this year. When given the opportunity, he is very efficient, shooting over 60% from the field in back-to-back seasons.


Bench

Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, Tyrell Terry, JaQuori McLaughlin, Josh Green, Sterling Brown, Eugene Omoruyi, Reggie Bullock, Feron Hunt, Maxi Kleber, Willie Cauley-Stein, Boban Marjanovic, Moses Brown, Jalen Brunson, Trey Burke, Tyrell Terry, JaQuori McLaughlin, Josh Green, Sterling Brown, Eugene Omoruyi, Reggie Bullock, Feron Hunt, Maxi

Brunson’s return was unavoidable. He is coming off a season in which he averaged 12.6 points and 3.5 assists per game. His shooting percentage of 52.2 percent was also a career best. Brunson has developed into one of the league’s most underappreciated backup point guards since being selected in the second round three years ago.

Don’t overlook the addition of Sterling Brown, the team’s second big offseason move. Last season, Brown scored 8.2 points per game for the Houston Rockets, although he shot 42.4 percent from the field. Reggie Bullock fired 41% from outside the arc, giving the Mavericks two legitimate shooters who can come off the bench and play significant minutes.

Last year, with Powell still struggling to find his way back into the lineup on a consistent basis, Maxi Kleber closed out the majority of games. He also had a 40% outside shooting percentage. If the Mavericks decided to go small, they could shift Porzingis to the five and let Kleber play power forward in his natural position. Willey Cauley-Stein, who continues to be a productive backup in the NBA, and everyone’s favorite, Boban Marjanovic, round out the bench.


It’s up to Doncic and Porzingis to show that it’s possible.

Keeping Porzingis healthy and enabling him to play alongside Doncic is crucial to the Mavericks’ success. The Mavericks had to think that previous head coach Rick Carlisle couldn’t make it work, which is why he’s now the Pacers’ head coach and Kidd is leading the push. Porzingis is being compensated well and will not be moved anytime soon. They need to figure out a method to make this collaboration work.

When Porzingis isn’t on the court, everyone and their mother wants to talk about how much better the Mavericks are. According to the statistics, this is far from the case. Doncic has averaged 23.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 6.6 assists in 112 games sans Porzingis. Doncic averaged 29.1 points, 9.2 assists, and 8.0 rebounds in 40 games with him. Porzingis creates room for Doncic, allowing him to play more effectively.

Granted, the verdict is yet out on how well the squad will do with both of them at the helm. The team’s two first-round playoff exits are a letdown. Porzingis was hurt early in one of them two seasons ago, and Doncic almost led the team to an upset victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Mavericks must begin competing for a top-four finish in the conference, according to the two. Otherwise, this pairing will resemble that of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum from Portland.

Lillard and McCollum are both excellent players. Nobody can dispute it, yet in their lengthy history, the two have only made one appearance in the Conference Finals, with numerous first-round exits. The Mavericks haven’t advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs since 2011. After winning the division for the first time since 2011, there’s reason to believe that this year might be the year.

Early on, Doncic will be a contender for MVP. Fans have a lot to look forward to this season, if Porzingis stays healthy. If Porzingis is hurt again, though, we already know how this tale will finish. This is a pivotal year for the Mavericks’ relationship, each player’s history, and the franchise’s future path. 

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