Preview 2022/23 |  Dallas, new stronghold of the West?

Preview 2022/23 | Dallas, new stronghold of the West?



While the preseason is in full swing, USA Basketball continues its traditional presentation, team by team, of the upcoming NBA season. This takes, as every year, the form of a countdown, from the worst record in the league to our favorite for the title of champion.

Today, the time has come to talk about Mavericks who haven’t changed too much and who are defending conference finalists in the West. Eliminated last spring by the Warriors, future champions, the teammates of Luka Doncic had actually surprised many observers by crossing two towers. In the conference semi-finals, they had mainly dismissed the Suns, the best team in the regular season, after a more than perfect Game 7 in Arizona.

With its new status, the Texas franchise will therefore not lack ambition in 2022/23. The problem is that she lost Jalen Brunson this summer, her second best element. Suffice to say that it will fill the void left by the now leader of the Knicks. To do this, Spencer Dinwiddie will see its responsibilities evolve in the backcourt locally, while Christian Wood will be responsible for boosting the bench of Jason Kiddin particular through JaVale McGeethe other major summer rookie in Dallas.

Intelligently surrounded, with role players of quality and which stick to his style of play, Luka Doncic is expected very highly individually. To put it simply: he has everything to get his hands on the MVP trophy. His talent is no longer to be demonstrated, and his ability to control a match either, but we are always entitled to wonder if he will be able to sign a successful season from start to finish. That is to say without ignition delay, for example.

And the Slovenian would be rightly inspired to start this new exercise with a bang. On the one hand, in order not to weigh down his chances for the MVP trophy as well as the record of the Mavs. On the other hand, so as not to directly install doubt in the heads of its leaders, who do not particularly have the financial leeway to reshape their workforce in depth. Even less in an emergency…


Arrivals : Christian Wood (Rockets), JaVale McGee (Suns), Jaden Hardy (Draft), Tyler Dorsey (Olympiakos)
Departures : Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Trey Burke and Marquese Chriss (Thunder), Boban Marjanovic (Rockets), Sterling Brown


In Dallas, it will be difficult not to observe Luka Doncic closely this season. At only 23 years old, for what will already be his fifth year in the league, the Slovenian is obviously no longer to be presented.

Triple All-Star, Rookie of the Year 2019 and triple member of the All-NBA First Team, he is now called upon to win this trophy for which he is the bookmakers’ favorite: that of MVP.

The only real (super) star of the Texan workforce, “Luka Magic” will in any case have no one to overshadow him, because his teammates will all be “at his service”. Coming out of a campaign where he reached his first career conference final, but from a summer where he was less radiant than during his previous campaigns with Slovenia, the 3rd choice of the 2018 Draft will therefore have to cross a new course — if he can still do it — in order to guide “his” Mavericks towards the third Finals of their history.

Thus, without his former friend Jalen Brunson, Luka Doncic logically inherits heavier responsibilities on his shoulders, because keeping the Mavs in the Top 4 in the West will be far from easy. The good news in this story being that he is a man of challenges, that he has had a habit of pushing back expectations since his first steps as a professional and that he still has aspects of his game to to improve…

Average age: 28 years old
Payroll: $171.6 million (12th)


As expected, Luka Doncic continues to explode the counters in Dallas. Irreproachable individually and collectively, he changes dimension and enters the category of MVP. In the wake of his Super star, the Texan franchise once again rallies the Top 4 of the West, to secure the advantage of the field in the first round of the playoffs. It must be said that Spencer Dinwiddie, as a good lieutenant, perfectly compensates for the departure of Jalen Brunson, by finding a level close to that which he had in Brooklyn, in 2019/20.

Better yet: perfectly embracing his role as a substitute, rookie Christian Wood brings an extra dimension to the Texas game. Finally victorious, in an environment where he feels appreciated at his fair value, he is thus ready to register for the long term in Texas. Add to that the contribution of valiant elements, such as Tim Hardaway Jr, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, JaVale McGee or Dwight Powell, and you get a tasty mix that allows Jason Kidd’s men to count among the leaders of their conference.

In the playoffs, crossing a lap is therefore a minimum for the Mavericks. Of course, the road is long and the competition is fierce, but with Luka Doncic at the helm of an experienced, united and balanced group, which knows each other perfectly and can bring down the deluge permanently, all hopes are allowed, after all…


Finally, the loss of Jalen Brunson is more disabling than imagined for the Mavericks. Unable to overcome his departure, because Spencer Dinwiddie definitely does not have (anymore?) the shoulders to be a starter at a outsider, they must quickly forget a direct qualification for the playoffs. It must be said that Luka Doncic had his usual ignition delay, and that he is now too lonely to keep his team in the ruthless Top 6 of the West. As for his mood swings, they continue to harm him, as with Slovenia at EuroBasket, and he obviously gives up the MVP trophy.

Coming off the bench, Christian Wood is not blameless either. Admittedly steeped in talent offensively, he weighs down Dallas with his defensive weakness, in addition to not accepting his role as a substitute. Nonchalant on the floor and rather talkative in the press, he will logically not continue in Texas. Fortunately, the soldiers of Jason Kidd, Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, JaVale McGee or even Dwight Powell ensure their work from the shadows. Quite the opposite of Tim Hardaway Jr, who is struggling to regain his pre-injury sensations.

In a rather gloomy atmosphere, the Mavs season therefore turns sour. Not to the point of preventing them from competing in the end-of-year play-in, but enough to disturb their future. Because, despite a “generational” talent like Luka Doncic at its head, we do not know what direction Mark Cuban’s franchise is taking. Already stuck financially, because of the big contracts of Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr. or Davis Bertans, it is now sportingly, because of a generally limited workforce in the wake of “Luka Magic”.

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