By DaVince “Dino” Wright
When I write any type of article, I pen it as a fan that loves whatever I’m scheduled to cover regarding college football, the NFL or the NBA. Being a former athlete I try to take a deeper look inside the teams or athletes I cover. I understand injuries, contracts and locker room ethics, so I believe that I have somewhat of an inside track. The Dallas Mavericks are my home town team and years ago, I tried out but didn’t make the cut and ended up tearing my ACL in the process.The Dallas Mavericks have always been a team that had enough talent but failed to mesh together when it really counted. This year’s team is complete from the big names to the bench in my opinion. Head coach Jason Kidd will have his hands full again with players, playing time, rotation and egos. Yes I said, “EGOS!” Here’s the key for the season, keeping high dollar players happy while finding the right 5 players willing to put their personal stats aside for the betterment of the team.
2022-23 Season Recap
Last season the Mavericks finished the season with a 38-44 record and missed the playoffs. This was two years removed from making the playoffs four straight seasons. Remember that this is a team that won the NBA championship in 2011. The Mavericks found success behind the free three-point line shooting 38.1% in 82 games. As a team, they made 19.0 free throws on 25.1 attempts from the stripe. The achillies heal for the Mavericks last season was rebounding and post defense. Former center Christian Wood got pounded in the paint along with Maxi Kleber and others. Toughness in the paint on both ends cost the team close games down the stretch. Dwight Powell is the better fit at center because of his ability to play around the rim and get blocks, but struggled to get playing time because of his height. This year Dallas brought in former Celtic Grant Williams and Markieff Morris to beef up the defensive side of the floor. Keep in mind that Grant Williams is a power forward standing at 6’6. Dereck Lively II will get the nod at center this year. He is 7’1, 230 pounds and is 19 years old. When he gets the NBA game under his belt he will be a good player for this franchise for years to come.
2023-24 Season Expectation
DMF4L – Dallas Mavericks Fan 4 Life is the rallying cry for the Mavs fans and the City of Dallas. For the past 4 years Dallas has had it’s share of ups and downs but now is the time for results. It’s been 12 years since the Mavericks won the NBA championship. We have experienced not making the playoffs and waiting for the next season to start only to be let down again. This season point guard Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving will lead this team into the playoffs and get the team what is rightfully ours… a championship! Defense will be key for this team to take over the Western Conference and stay in first place in the Southwestern Division. Small forward Tim Hardaway, Jr. only played 71 games last season. He will have the task of guarding the opposing team’s best player on the wing. Creating turnovers and getting down the floor will be at the top of the list for the Mavericks on the defensive side of the ball.
In order for the Mavericks to give the fans what they want, they will need to do three things to accomplish it: First, play some type of defense. Secondly, rebound the ball on both offense and defense. Finally, distribute the ball early in the shot clock and allow others to create with catching passes with at least 4 seconds left in the shot clock. Dallas has the talent but is missing that one big dog in the paint to keep opposing teams honest when they face Dallas. This will be the formula for a successful season if the Mavericks mesh at home and on the road this season. This team reminds me of when I played at Richland College in Dallas. The team was established with a smooth shooting guard Ahmed Demus that inherited a good team heading into the season, I was added to play shooting guard while he was the small forward. The team was divided because neither one of us wanted to take the back seat because we were the alpha dogs on the teams we played on before playing together. To make a long story short, we didn’t budge to take the back seat to one another, and it ultimately cost the team the NJCAA playoffs. This is how I see Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. If they play together, Dallas will be tough to beat and if not, we will be saying, “Better look next year!”
Dallas Mavericks Upcoming Schedule
Dallas Mavericks vs San Antonio Spurs
Date: October 25, 2023
Time: 8:30 p.m.
This is the first game of the season and the Mavericks will need to silence the critics. Dallas is going on the road to face in-state rival San Antonio and their new center Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama has been pegged as the best talent to come into league in 20 years. Dallas will need to play solid on the defensive end.
Final Score: Mavericks 111 – Spurs 102
Brooklyn Nets vs Dallas Mavericks
Date: October 27, 2023
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Dallas’ first home game of the season and the Nets are coming in to make a statement. Luka Doncic is a game time decision for this game. PG Kyrie Irving will be exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m taking Dallas by 7!
Final Score: Nets 88 – Mavericks 95
Dallas Mavericks vs Memphis Grizzlies
Date: October 30, 2023
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Will Dallas will have their hands full with the Grizzlies? Keep in mind that the Mavericks defense will be tested in this one. I see it being real close with the Mavs pulling it out in the 4th quarter.
Final Score: Mavericks 85 – Grizzlies 82
Chicago Bulls vs Dallas Mavericks
Date: November 1, 2023
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Dallas hosts DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls at the AAC. The Bulls are loaded deep on their roster. Dallas will need to slow down the pace and control the clock in this one. Chicago has too much fire power. I’m taking the Bulls by 7! The Mavs will no longer be undefeated on the season.
Final Score: Bulls 109 – Mavericks 102
Dallas Mavericks vs Denver Nuggets
Date: November 3, 2023
Time: 9:00 p.m.
This will be a huge test for the Mavericks this early in the season. Denver is loaded with height and talent. They’re also the defending champions. Rebounding will be key, but stopping Nikola Jokic will be a tall order for the under-sized centers on the Mavericks roster. I’m taking the Nuggets by 13! Dare I suggest back-to-back losses!
Final Score: Mavericks 117 – Nuggets 129