It’s been a few days since the very long, occasionally strange, and ultimately memorable and fun 2019-2020 Dallas Mavericks’ season is over. Try to summarize your thoughts now that we’ve had a few days since the season ended.
Sam: It’s hard to nitpick a team that won 33 games a season ago that achieved it’s goal of making the playoffs. It’s hard to nitpick a team that, for the most part, successfully stuck to it’s plan to bring back Kristaps Porzingis into form. It’s hard to nitpick the most efficient offensive team in the history of the NBA. And finally, it’s hard to nitpick a team that had a title favorite on the ropes without the two most important players playing significant fourth quarter minutes. They overcame season-long injuries to key reserves and untimely injuries to Luka Doncic and Porzingis that prevented them from really seeing what they were as a collective unit. The playoffs proved two things. With Doncic, this team is a force to be reckoned with, but also the needs are painfully obvious. That’s a good situation all things considered.
Ryan: One thing is glaringly obvious from this season: Luka Doncic is the NBA’s next superstar. He’s a top-ten player in the league, and will soon be cozy inside the top-five. He proved how capable he is even when the lights are the brightest, so one thing is certain: the Mavericks have a great foundation. Along with Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis appears to honing his strengths in Dallas. If he and Doncic can find a way to play 65+ games together next season (assuming there will be an 82 game season), this team will be much higher in the standings. Tim Hardaway Jr. looked great as a plug-in-anywhere sharpshooter for the offense. The Mavericks got an insane amount of production from undrafted players Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith. I am thoroughly encouraged by the tone this team set over the past season, but the Mavericks will soon need to be more aggressive in pursuing their final pieces to the championship puzzle, and that begins this off season.
Doyle: The 2019-20 season is over and I think that’s great. I’m tired. It was certainly the most unique season I’ve experienced in my seven seasons as a credentialed reporter covering the Mavs. I’ll add that it was also surprising. While the goal during training camp and preseason—all the way back in September/October 2019—was to make the playoffs, there were many who thought it was an ambitious benchmark. I was one of those people.
Now, we’ve seen the Mavericks win two playoff games in a series for the first time in a long time. While they were bounced from the first-round of the playoffs, the Mavs set the bar high. It will only be raised next season (whenever that is). Take a second, with the season’s over, and reflect about everything we saw. Doncic ascended into superstardom. Porzingis played like an All-Star. Hardaway shot lights out. Finney-Smith became the 3-and-D player the team needs (they need more). Maxi Kleber made some phone calls. Boban found a spot in our hearts. Josh Reaves saw playoff minutes.
That’s all pretty great. Savor it. Cherish it.
Kirk: This past season was a great time and entirely why we struggle through some of the less fun seasons. Watching Luka Doncic establish himself as a force early then maintain was beyond anything in my wildest expectations. The fact that so many of the role players stepped their games up to match Luka’s output, particularly the three point shooting from guys like Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber, was a lot of fun to experience in real time. And this doesn’t mention the slow but important progression of Porzingis who, by All Star Weekend, looked like a world beater in his own right.
I wrote a few times about how this last season was the sweet spot, where fun took precedence over fan expectations. Hopefully that will last into next season too because the West is always a lot harder than we tend to thing it is.
This was great. I miss Dallas Maverick basketball already.