No stopping the Dallas offense.
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 136-124 in the 2023-2024 NBA regular season at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S., on Sunday (Jan. 13). The win was Dallas’ second straight. They moved into a tie for first place in the Western Conference.
Dallas is 8-2 in its first 10 games of the 2023-2024 season. The last time Dallas had more than eight wins in their first 10 games was the 2007-2008 season. Dallas’ momentum is the best it’s been in recent years.
The key to Dallas’ rise has been its offense. Dallas averaged 124.1 points per game in the 2023-2024 season, good for second in the NBA. Their offensive rating of 122 is also second in the NBA. This is despite the fact that Dallas averages 117.6 points per game, 24th overall, and a defensive rating of 115.6, 23rd overall.
A big reason the Dallas offense is so potent is the presence of the surefire one-two punch of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Doncic is averaging 32.6 points, 8.5 assists, and 8.6 rebounds in the 2023-2024 season. He’s also shooting 52.6% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range, which is career-high, even though it’s early in the season. Doncic is leading the offense, both scoring himself and passing to his teammates. At this point, Doncic is one of the most potent offensive weapons in the NBA, and he’s reached a level where he doesn’t really have a weakness. Doncic is the strongest MVP candidate right now.
Irving is also playing well. Irving is averaging 23 points, 6.8 assists, and 40 percent shooting from three-point range in 2023-2024 as the second option behind Doncic. When Doncic comes off the bench, he runs the offense for Dallas. Unlike Doncic, Irving is not having the best year of his career, but he’s fitting in nicely with the team.
One positive for Dallas from last season is that they have somewhat resolved the issue of the Doncic-Irving duo coexisting. Last season, when Doncic and Irving played together, Dallas had a shocking 5-11 record. This season has been completely different. Irving has become a traffic conduit, giving up some of his role in the offense to Doncic.
Doncic and Irving aren’t the only Dallas players who have done well. This season, Dallas is shooting 40% from three-point range as a team, which ranks first in the NBA. Role players are capitalizing on the spillover effect that Doncic and Irving create. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Grant Williams provide firepower from the perimeter, and Josh Green, who had a great season last year, has continued to play well.
Add to that the play of rookie Derrick Lilliby II, who has been arguably Dallas’ hottest commodity this season. Lively averaged 8.8 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocked shots in the 2023-2024 season, earning the starting center spot for Dallas. Dallas has had a consistent need at the center position since the Dirk Nowitzki era. The arrival of the rookie Lillibulli erased a major problem for Dallas.
For a team with so much offensive firepower, defense is a concern. As mentioned earlier, the Mavs ranked near the bottom of the NBA in goals against average and defensive 토토 rating. Improving the defense is not an option if the Mavs want to reach higher. The problem is, Williams is the only player on Dallas’ roster whose strength is defense. Derrick Jones Jr. has done a decent job as a starter lately, but it’s hard to see that continuing all season. This is where head coach Jason Kidd’s tactics come into play.
Even though it’s early in the season, Dallas has overwhelming firepower that makes for entertaining basketball. With Doncic and Irving leading the way, where will Dallas end up?