The Dallas Mavericks made it to the NBA Western Conference Finals and lost in five games to the Golden State Warriors. While this was a disappointing end to the season, they still were one of the top four teams in the league when it was all said in done. They were the closest ever to making it to the finals since Luka Doncic has been on the team.
Before this year, the Mavericks had yet to win a first round series with Luka. Now they definitely have a formula to build on.
After a failed experiment of bringing in another star in Kristaps Porzingis to pair with Luka, the Mavericks traded him for more depth and role players.
The Mavericks went back to the basics of what has worked for teams in the past having one major star with high quality surrounding talent, but not another ball dominant player.
This worked for the Dallas team that won the championship with Dirk Nowitzki leading the way and for Lebron James in Cleveland with Kyrie Irving playing a similar role to what Jalen Brunson did this year. Obviously, Irving gave more to the team than Brunson did, and that is likely why Cleveland won that championship.
It is a formula that may be starting to work again. The Celtics have a similar formula using Tatum heavily and Brown as a side kick who doesn’t need the ball in his hands all the time. Milwaukee did it as well last year to win a championship with Giannis and Khris Middleton as a side kick.
Next year the Mavericks will likely build on this formula that has worked so well for them. It seems the missing piece is a big pick-and-roll center to catch lobs from Luka, similar to what Tyson Chandler did on that Mavericks championship team.
Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Luka_Doncic_(51176525298).jpg