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3 things as the Mavericks kick off the season against the Hawks

You can’t quit Luka Magic

Utah Jazz v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images

Well, well, well. Look who couldn’t stay away.

The biggest Maverick front office shakeup in a lifetime. The parting of ways with the only coach to win a ‘chip in Dallas. An uneventful draft, bereft of picks. I bet you put a whole bunch of stock into that undefeated preseason, didn’t you? You sicko. You’re a lil’ freak, aren’t you?

The Cowboys are having a great season. The Stars just hit the ice two seasons removed from a Stanley Cup appearance. But here you are. Just couldn’t help yourself. You want to see one more Luka step back. One more Kristaps Porzingis rolling alley oop dunk. You’re so friggin’ twisted I bet you wanna see Boban make an in-game three pointer, don’t you? Admit it, you do. Good lord, take a cold shower.

Alright fine, you degenerate. Here we go with another season of Dallas Maverick Basketball.

He knows exactly what he’s doing

In an opening week that features such carefully curated match-ups as a California showdown between the Lakers and Warriors, an Eastern Conference collision between prospective alphas in the Nets and Bucks, and a Western Conference rematch between the Suns and the Nuggets, it’s no accident that the Mavericks have drawn the Hawks as their first opponent.

Despite Luka and Trae doing everything in their power to dissuade this notion that there’s some sort of beef or contentious relationship between them, nothing’s seemed to dampen the drumbeat of THIS LEAGUE drama. On account of their draft night quantum entanglement, media statements and hamming it up in All-Star games will simply never be enough to convince the basketball public at large - and especially these two fan bases - that any game these two play in is inherently a rivalry game. Adam Silver, you smooth operator.

What’s real?

It feels like fool’s gold to take anything more than a bemused shrug away from even the best preseason performance. (Josh Richardson shooting 75% from three says hello.) Still, you could be forgiven for watching those four games and thinking to yourself, “KP’s moving well right? He looks good out there, or am I insane?”

Well hold on to your exercise balls because we’re about to do the damn thing for real. After Porzingis’ much-ballyhooed Fully Healthy Offseason™, we’ll get to see what a full power Porzingis looks like right out of the gate.

The new scheme from Coach Kidd will likely have as much to do with Porzingis’ performance as Kristaps himself will. Kidd has pledged consistently that we’ll be seeing a new role for the big Latvian. No more corner decoy duty. If the KP we see opening night is already deep in his proverbial bag from the whistle, both offensively and defensively, it will be a real reason for optimism. Much more than the mirage of the pre-season was, anyway. A good game against an Eastern Conference contender where KP is battling against the likes of John Collins and Clint Capela can’t be faked.

Let me reintroduce myself

For as much hand-wringing there has been over whether KP will bounce back from his 2021 postseason performance, there’s been an exponential amount of ink spilled over the man in the suit: Jason Kidd.

Head Coach Kidd will be answering a lot of questions in his Dallas debut version 3.0. Is Dallas going to let it rip from three? Will KP get post touches? Will the team buy in defensively? These aren’t questions simple enough to answer with a single game… AND YET. Kidd’s first impression is going to set the mood for what many in the MFFL contingent are going to be talking about until there’s a more robust data set to draw from.

How to watch

Thursday, October 21st at 6:30pm on TNT.