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DSF Staff preview and predict the 2021-2022 Mavericks season

Photo: Michael Lark/Dallas Sports Fanatic

DSF Staff preview and predict the 2021-2022 Mavericks season

A new coach and an apparent new energy are the biggest talking points surrounding the start of the 2021-2022 Dallas Mavericks season. It’s time to get things going tonight as the squad kicks things off in Atlanta.

The DSF staff got together to make some predictions on what they see coming this season for Luka, KP and the rest of the Mavericks crew.

How do you realistically define success for this Mavericks season and are you confident the team could reach that mark?
Darien Clark:
For this Mavs team, realistic success is getting to the playoffs and then winning a playoff series for the first time in Luka or KP’s career. I am definitely confident that this can happen. First year coaches historically can either make or break a season, but to have an MVP favorite on your team, I’d say the chances are high for a great first year under Coach Kidd.

Dylan Duell: There is nothing on an individual level that is related to the Mavericks’ success this season. No MVP for Luka, no Sixth Man of the Year for Jalen Brunson, no All-Star Buzz for Kristaps Porzingis. None of that matters if they don’t win a playoff series and are highly competitive in the second round. It’s something this franchise hasn’t done in ten years and it’s simply time to get it done. I think the team is very capable of doing this and possibly more, but they have to rack up as many wins as possible to gain homecourt advantage/a seemingly more favorable first round matchup.

Michael Mulford: Success is getting past the first round. Following two consecutive first round exits, a jump further in the playoffs is a necessity. Also, just more continuity and health from KP is crucial for the team. My confidence meter in both a deeper playoff run and KP this season is high. I’m more excited about this team than I have been in some time.

What is one storyline/player or coach’s performance you’ll be most interested over the first several weeks of the season?
We all can’t wait to see how KP fits within this new regime. However, I am excited to see how Brunson continues to develop and exceed expectations both on and off the ball. The Mavs lack depth in the back court and he will end up playing critical and extensive minutes each night. Not to mention, JB is a coach’s favorite type of player and is also one of the lead candidates to win the sixth-man award this year. There’s reason for that.

Dylan: It will be interesting to see how the wing minutes are distributed after that area was the main place the team addressed in the offseason with the additions of Reggie Bullock and Sterling Brown. Will it mean that a guy who has played 30+ minutes a night each of the last few seasons like Dorian Finney-Smith will have his minutes cut down to the low 20’s? Will 2020 first round pick Josh Green even be able to crack the rotation? I think there are a lot of good options, but it might not be the easiest thing for Jason Kidd to juggle.

Michael: The easy answer here is Kristaps Porzingis and how Kidd plans to utilize him in the offense. Obviously we all remember Carlisle parking KP in the corner during the first round series against the Clippers. The success of this team and really the future of Porzingis in a Dallas uniform rides on an increase in production this season so getting off to a promising start will do wonders for both KP and Kidd skeptics.

If you had to bet on one current legitimate rotation player not being on the roster after the trade deadline, who would it be?
One of these bigs has to be moved sooner or later, right? You can’t realistically roster seven to eight rotational power forward and/or centers and feel confident with the rest of the positions. I mean they need to have depth and rest whereas needed as well. I could definitely see Powell or WCS being moved specifically at the deadline.

Dylan: A deal built around the contracts of Dwight Powell or Maxi Kleber seems to make the most sense if the Mavericks want to acquire a player who can help them in the backcourt or on the wings while making in the $10 million range or so. I’m definitely ready to be surprised though.

Michael: I think out of true rotation players it’d be one of Dwight Powell or Maxi Kleber. Both are beloved by the organization, and for good reason. But, sometimes a change is needed and for the most part, we’ve seen the same team brought back every year alongside Luka. If a team is in need of front court depth, and I’m talking to you Rick Carlisle, I could see Powell or Kleber moving for more wing/playmaking depth.

Predict the team’s W-L record and how they’ll fare in the postseason
I predict the Mavs will finish the regular season with a 49-33 record placing them 4th in the West. After defeating the Nuggets in the first round, they’ll lose to the Lakers in the second round in six games.

Dylan: Like I said before, I think it’s so important for this Mavericks team to get to the highest possible seed. I think they can get a top four seed and win a first round series after a 49-33 regular season. No promises after that.

Michael: I’ve got the Mavericks locking up the No. 4 seed with a 47-25 record, ultimately losing in the second round.

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