The idea was already intriguing on paper since the trade had broken the Mavericks’ dynamic, and the result of the arrival of Kyrie Irving to accompany Luka Doncic during last season ended up turning into a fiasco. Not only did Dallas not win more matches, but the franchise finished the year without playoffs, without even qualifying for the play-in. Worse, she took a very big fine for throwing away the end of the season…
A few months later, the Mavs continued with their idea by managing to extend “Uncle Drew” and this time rebalanced the forces present with ambitious recruitment. So much so that at the time of the resumption, the Texan franchise is hopeful of quickly returning to the upper echelons of the Western Conference. Questioned on the sidelines of the first training session carried out yesterday by Jason Kidd’s men, the Slovenian leader highlighted the different context in which the two players can today get to know each other better.
A summer and a preseason to develop their relationship
“It’s a better situation, that’s for sure.”, slipped Luka Doncic. “He came in the middle of last season and we didn’t have much time. We played matches directly. But it takes time to create cohesion, especially on the ground. So we didn’t have all of training camp and no preseason either. So I think it will be much better.”
Difficult to do worse at the same time, since when the two players played together at the end of the season, Dallas lost 11 games out of 16. On the other hand, even if the talent is not lacking between the two, a complete preseason one next to the other can only be beneficial to them.
“We appreciate when things happen right away, but we will continue to develop this relationship,” for his part declared Jason Kidd. “There’s a relationship, they had the summer and now they have a preseason to bond. But that’s the big question: can they coexist? But it’s not just limited to that, it’s also the group around them. I think we are sometimes misinformed. If you have the right elements around, they will coexist, and after day one, they coexisted at a high level.”
Leaders who must set an example
It is also in this sense that Dallas can once again nourish ambition, thanks to the complementary players recruited to surround the duo, at the forefront of whom we can cite Grant Williams, a kind of Dorian Finney-Smith 2.0, or even Seth Curry, as a perfect “punisher” behind the 3-point line.
“Depending on what we, the two leaders, do, the others will follow”continued Luka Doncic. “We have to set an example, and that concerns everyone. It’s not just us. There are five players on the field. We’re going to play against everyone, so everyone has to help each other.”
Finally, Jason Kidd nevertheless recalled that the issue was not only on this point, since Dallas’ big concern for years remains defense.
“I don’t think it’s a problem for us to score points. It’s about making stops and being consistent. This is what we are going to talk about in the video session and in the field,” recalled the Mavs strategist.