It’s time to continue our series breaking down the Mavericks’ roster.
Rather than just running down the assets and debits of each player, we’re going to approach this year’s roster evaluation a little differently.
With a sound track.
Since the Mavericks reached the Western Conference finals last season and have made it clear that championships are the only measuring stick they will use moving forward in the Luka Dončić era, it’s time to analyze what they need from each player to someday make that a reality, preferably sooner than later.
And there’s a theme song – basketball’s version of walk-up music, if you will – for each player.
So here we look at each player (in alphabetical order) and what they must accomplish for the Mavericks to be title worthy. We’ll assume good health for everybody, which is always the No. 1 issue.
Next up is Spencer Dinwiddie.
THEME SONGS: Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie and Lean On Me by Bill Withers
KEY STAT FROM 2021-22 THAT MUST IMPROVE: 28.3 minutes per game he played with the Mavericks. That needs to be over 30 and we’ll explain why below.
BREAKDOWN: In his second season back from knee surgery, the 6-5 guard needs to become close to (or surpass) the player he was in 2019-20, when he was really good (20.6 points, 6.8 assists per game). This means the pressure is on. But Dinwiddie also is the type of player who will want his teammates to lean on him, hence the sound track. With Jalen Brunson gone (and by the way, his theme would have been Empire State of Mine by Jay-Z w/Alicia Keys), Dinwiddie will be the secondary ballhandler. Interestingly, Dinwiddie accomplished maybe the rarest statistical feat of the season in the playoffs when he shot 41.7 percent overall, 41.7 percent from 3-point range and 41.7 percent from inside the arc. That’s hard to do. And it’s a pretty nice blueprint for any player, although you’d like to see the close-range percentage tick up a little. The bottom line is that Dinwiddie was way better at the end of the season than he was earlier, when he had just returned from knee surgery. So that’s the player the Mavericks should expect to have – the one who averaged 16.7 points and 4 assists after the All-Star break.
NEXT UP: Luka Dončić.