In case you haven’t seen from the several posts on the site today: BASKETBALL BACK. And no one is more amped than those of us at Mavs Moneyball dot com. So amped, that we just had to roundtable it up one more time before Game One gets underway.
With the excitement level through the roof and expectations that have yet to be dashed still alive and well, we asked the staff:
With the NBA season officially underway, what is one bold prediction you have for the Dallas Mavericks?
Kirk (@KirkSeriousFace): I think DeAndre Jordan makes an All-NBA team. Between the offensive looks he’ll get in the Carlisle system and the volume of rebounds the Mavericks will need him to collect, I see a season where Jordan averages 15 points and 15 rebounds on the range of outcomes. Those numbers might be crazy but even if he doesn’t get there, he’s going to put up statistics worthy of All-NBA consideration.
Sam (@SamGuertler): The 28-year-old rookie Ryan Broekhoff will join only Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Hubert Davis and Doug McDermott to become the fifth Maverick ever to shoot 45 percent from three on at least two attempts per game. The major variable here is Broekhoff’s playing time. Harrison Barnes and Dorian Finney-Smith will absorb most of the minutes at the three when healthy, but if given the opportunity, Broekhoff could easily fill it up from deep. In the preseason he shot 46 percent on nearly three attempts from deep, and he shot 44 percent from behind the arc in five European seasons. That includes connecting on 51 percent of his shots from long range in his last season overseas. If given the opportunity, Broekhoff will become the Mavericks next long-range sharp shooter.
Jordan (@JordanBrodess): I say some of this based on health, and I know there would have to be some stat qualifiers to make it happen...but I predict the best full bench lineup will be Barea, Broekhoff, DFS, Kleber, Dirk this season. I don’t really know if this lineup will get much run, but I think it could be a nice blend of style and talent. And really, this is more just a clamoring for the eventual lineup I’d like to see: Jalen Brunson, Ryan Broekhoff, Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Dwight Powell. Maybe it’s bad, but at least we’d know.
Brice (@80GradeWhitt): Luka Doncic will shoot 38 percent or better from three this season. Without having to be the sole focus of the offense, that alone will account for better shot selection and less end of the shot clock contested triples. He makes step back threes at a high clip and all the attention that will be paid to more established shooters on the preempted in Matthews and Barnes should open up a lot of open looks like he had in the preseason. In practice he looks like the best shooter on the team outside of Wesley Matthews, and the coaches have supreme confidence in his shooting ability.
Josh (@Boweman55): Maxi Kleber makes Dwight Powell expendable. For what it’s worth, I love the player Powell has become, but Kleber in the preseason resembled what Mavs coaches have been hoping to get from Powell all this time - the same athletic rim running PLUS shooting and rim protection. Kleber is a sneaky shot blocker and at a certain point he might push Carlisle for more time. I dunno if the preseason was a mirage but hey, this is the bold take question!
Doyle (@TheKobeBeef): After two years of the team saying they got a steal when they signed Dorian Finney-Smith after he went undrafted, he will prove his worth. Finney-Smith was much maligned in his first two seasons, not shooting well and missing a lot of time due to injury. This season will be a make or break year for him. In preseason, he showed marked improvement, knocking down 52.4 percent of his shots and 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts. If he can maintain similar percentages during the regular season, he will be a real asset for the Mavs.