Dallas Mavericks will struggle unless Luka Dončić buys into team concept

There is no

There is no “I” in “team”, Luka.
Image: Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks’ struggles this season are well documented and likely won’t end anytime soon. Their worldwide leader Luka Dončić is off to another strong start, but that only translates to a 9-7 record, and the team is barely keeping its head above water. While Dončić is playing at MVP level, he has failed to engage his team and make them a better unit.

Dončić recently became the second fastest player in NBA history to record 50 career triple-doubles. Watching “The Grillmaster“The game is like a single-player demolition derby. He can do so many things and affect a game in so many ways offensively, but he still doesn’t fully trust those around him.

Luka leads the NBA in scoring in the first month averaging 33.5 points per game. The Mavs rank 25th in the conference in scoring at 109.1 points per game while ranking last in assists per game with 20.8. Dončić takes this attitude against the world to another level, and as usual, it’s to the detriment of the team.

However, we cannot put all the blame on Dončić’s shoulders. The front office and head coach Jason Kidd should also be held accountable. While it looked like the Mavs had turned the corner last year with their unlikely race in the Western Conference Finals, they took huge steps backwards at the start of this season.

Frankly, Dallas rocked and failed when it came to surrounding their star with other playmakers. It didn’t work when they did, or they failed to keep those players on the listing.

A prime example of this is the emergence of Jalen Brunson as Luka’s running mate and No.2 option last season. Brunson carried the Mavs to the first round of the playoffs, with Dončić missing half the series against the Utah Jazz. Then the offseason and free agency period rolled around, and it was obvious that Brunson was heading to New York, where he now resides as a Knick. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban seemed to be barely struggling in an attempt to keep Brunson on the payroll.

Then there’s the deal with Kristaps Porzingis that fell through last year. Porzingis is clearly not the “unicorn” he was once touted as. His frustration at playing alongside Dončić was blatant. Porzingis and the Mavs had seen enough, and the unicorn was negotiated in Washington at the trade deadline last season for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertrand. Dinwiddie was a good addition, but he cannot be the second option in a team that aspires to the championship.

Dallas also traded for former Houston Rockets rising star Christian Wood over the summer, and he was supposed to be the answer to help the Mavs capitalize on what they started last season. So far, that hasn’t been the reality in Dallas with Wood on the roster. For whatever reason, Kidd chose not to play Wood as much in the second half of games this year. In an overtime loss to the Thunder, Wood never touched the ground in overtime.

“We left C Wood there with that group, and it didn’t go well on either side,” Kidd said. said de Wood sat out late in the game.

You traded for this player, so you need to give him a chance to acclimate and fit in with your star and the rest of his teammates. The Mavs are expected to be playoff contenders, and they’ll need Wood if they plan on making another deep run like last season.

Ultimately, Dončić must decide if he wants to be remembered as another all-time great goalscorer or if he wants to be an all-time great player who learned to improve his teammates and win titles. . Michael Jordan had to figure that out, and once he started trusting his team, the Bulls broke through and became a championship team. Dončić isn’t Jordan, but he’s in that mold of wanting to take on the world on his own like Jordan was in the beginning.

That one-on-one streetball mentality isn’t winning in today’s NBA. It never really was. Look no further than gamers like James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, etc. Durant won when he played a system that moved the ball, and he wasn’t happy about it sometimes. Irving won alongside LeBron James, and that’s no exaggeration. Dončić will have to learn confidence. Until then, Luka will be another flashy high-volume scorer who continues to falter in the playoffs.

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