“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.”
Though it would be nice if the Mavericks could change their destiny all on their own, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind the help of some stars.
As we enter 2022 with all the hope and optimism we can muster, we take inventory of ourselves — our successes and shortcomings, what we can sustain and what we should improve. So it is the same for the Mavericks (they’re just like us!).
So why not make some suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions for a team that could use a good deal of self-improvement?
The Dallas Mavericks are currently 28th in the league in Pace. This isn’t a new revelation; they have ranked in the back half of the league during Luka Doncic’s entire NBA career, and bottom five last season. That tune doesn’t look to be changing any time soon, even with a coaching change from the micromanaging style of Rick Carlisle.
But it has left the Mavericks with one identity. And if they can’t control the game they get left in the dust. Does the roster have players that would play well in an up-tempo system? No, probably not. But it wouldn’t kill them to find some more variety in their rhythm.
Saving more money
The second half of the Mark Cuban era has been plagued by saving money. He and his front office LOVE waving cash in the faces of superstars with eyes for other destinations, only to shrug and target mid-tier fringe pieces to fill out the rotation. It’s a strategy that hasn’t worked in the time since the 2011 title.
Wouldn’t it be nice in the year of our lord 2022 that the Mavericks front office didn’t think they had outsmart the system and tried a new approach? Though it has been quiet so far, I’m still willing to give new GM Nico Harrison some time to adjust to his role. But forgive me if I don’t feel a little queasy thinking about another year of dry powder.
Taking up a new hobby
Some people will take up pottery, others may learn a new instrument. But a hobby I’d love to see this roster dabble in in the coming spring is making shots. The team is currently 23rd in True-Shooting Percentage, their lowest mark in the Doncic-era.
While there has been plenty of focus on the Mavericks living in a murky midrange, they actually are attempting close to the same number of threes per game as last season. The only difference is they are hitting nearly four-percent less as a team — for context, that rounds out to two less threes per game.
Is shooting down across the league? Sure. Have I heard that there is a new basketball they are playing with? I have, in fact. But the Mavericks aren’t good enough defensively — even if it’s looked better on that end of late — to be this bad on offense.
Spending less time on social media
In 2022 I want more Mavrello on social media and less of a certain Dallas Mavericks owner...I, uh, yeah I’ll just leave it at that.
Do more charity work
Sharing is caring, and it would certainly be nice for the Mavericks to have a second ballhandler adept at distributing the ball. The team is actually better this season (17th in assists per game) than in the past, mostly thanks to Jalen Brunson’s growth as a playmaker. It also doesn’t hurt that Kristaps Porzingis and Dorian Finney-Smith both are notching career highs in assists per game (even if it’s just two, that helps). Still, it’s clear that the roster has a need for distribution.
Off the floor, it’s always nice to see the Mavericks engaging in the community. It’s something our site covers from time to time, and something I hope we do more of. For as frustrating it can be to live and die with this team, it is a nice reminder for myself on the impact these people have in the community.
Thank you for taking part in our MMB Community — Happy New Year to you and yours!