Luka Doncic expressed optimism during his initial press conference following the Mavericks’ training camp, stating that he anticipates better chemistry with Kyrie Irving this season. Their previous season performance fell short due to injuries and a limited number of games played together, which resulted in a disappointing 5-11 record when they shared the court. The Mavericks concluded the season on a low note, losing 18 of their last 25 regular-season games and failing to secure a playoff berth, finishing 11th in the competitive Western Conference. Discover Doncic shares hope of new start with Irving and better season for the Mavericks.
Doncic attributed their struggles to Kyrie joining the team mid-season without the opportunity for an extended training camp or preseason to build on-court chemistry. He believes that having a full training camp will make a significant difference this time around.
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Coach Jason Kidd shares Doncic’s optimism about their future prospects. While acknowledging the desire for immediate success, he emphasized the importance of nurturing their relationship over time and highlighted the upcoming preseason as an opportunity for the duo to bond. The key question, according to Kidd, is whether they can coexist effectively, but he believes that with the right supporting cast, they can excel together.
Exceptional Individual Performances by Doncic and Irving for the Mavericks
Offensively, both Doncic and Irving performed exceptionally well individually last season. Doncic averaged 32.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 8.0 assists, while Irving contributed 27.0 points and 6.0 assists per game. Despite their limited playing time together, when they shared the court, the Mavericks had one of the most potent offenses in the NBA, scoring 119.2 points per 100 possessions.
However, the team’s primary challenge lies on the defensive end. Doncic stressed the importance of setting an example as team leaders, but he also emphasized the collective responsibility of all five players on the court to contribute to the team’s defensive efforts.
During the summer, the Mavericks made signing Kyrie Irving to a three-year, $126 million contract, with a player option for the final season, their top priority. Additionally, they acquired Grant Williams in a sign-and-trade deal with the Celtics. Rookies Dereck Lively II and Olivier-Maxence Prosper are expected to play significant roles in the team’s rotation, providing hope for an improved season ahead.