There’s a lot to ask for when it comes to the Dallas Mavericks this year. Our writers were tasked with putting together a Christmas wishlist filled with what they wanted most under the tree. We’ll let you decide if any of them deserve to be on the naughty list.
The first thing on my wish list for the Dallas Mavericks is Domantas Sabonis. The Mavericks are in big need of a starting center and adding him to the roster will be a big upgrade in the power forward and center position. Having a starting lineup with Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Sabonis would help out the Mavericks chances of playoff success. The Mavericks are a team who have a history of obtaining and developing European players, Sabonis was born in America but his father, Arvydas Sabonis, was born in Lithuania, and made it into the NBA and the Naismith basketball hall of fame.
Sabonis is the face of the young core of the Indiana Pacers franchise but if they’re looking to rebuild and sell Sabonis would be great to have in Dallas.Sabonis has averaged 13.9 points per game (PPG), 8.9 rebounds per game (RPG), 3.4 assist per game (APG), 0.7 steals per game (SPG), and 0.4 blocks per game (BPG) during his career. He shoots 53.1% from the field, 31.6% from beyond the arc, and 72.9% from the free-throw line.
Each season he’s improved, with his past three seasons being his best, averaging 19.1 PPG, 12.1 RPG, 5.5 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.5 BPG. His offense is something that is greatly needed with the Mavericks to backup Doncic along with Porzingis. Sabonis’ defense can also come in handy especially at the center position.
Sabonis is a 2-time All-Star and he’s making a case to become one again this year. He;s only 25 still, so he still hasn’t even reached his potential peak. If the Mavericks can somehow pull off a trade for him that would be the best Christmas gift.
The second thing I want for my Mavericks Christmas is a healthy Porzingis. This one is a big gift if it’s able to happen considering Porzingis’ injury history. He had a massive ACL injury while he was on the Knicks which cost him a whole season and a half. Even when he returned he still continued to be plagued with back and leg injuries. Everytime he goes up for a dunk, I get scared that he’ll injure his leg again when he lands.
Since joining the Mavericks Porzingis has not had a season where he has played over 57 games. He hasn’t played at least 66 games in a season since his second season in the league while he was still part of the Knicks. The Mavericks rarely use him in back-to-back games to not wear him out and cause another injury. The problem is Porzingis is supposed to be one of the superstars on the team, next to Luka, and a star player can’t be missing most games that he would be very useful to the team.
If Porzingis’ proness to injuries could disappear that would be a Christmas miracle. When he’s on the court, he’s the embodiment of his nickname, the Unicorn. Porzingis has averaged 18.7 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.7 SPG, and 1.9 BPG during his career. His time on the Mavericks alone, he’s averaged 20.1 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 1.7 BPG. A healthy Porzingis is a difficult big man to stop. If his injuries could disappear that would be the best thing to happen to this era of the Mavericks.
Next Man Up Mentality
The final Christmas wish I have for the Mavericks is to formulate a next man up mentality. Throughout the years the Mavericks have had spurts of next man up mentality but this season when it’s been needed most they’ve been on and off. Doncic has missed a bunch of games due to injury, same goes for Porzingis, that is the time where the rest of the team should step up and show what they can bring to the team.
Jalen Brunson has had many games this year where he has stepped up when the stars had to sit out. He’s had four games where he’s scored 25 points or more and one of them was a double-double game, where he scored his season high in points and rebounds, with 31 points and 10 rebounds against the San Antonio Spurs. He’s third on the team when it comes to points, averaging 15.3 PPG. If he could have more games where he’s 20+ points, especially with the main two guys out, he would be an even bigger asset to the team.
Tim Hardaway Jr. has also had many games this year where he has scored in double digits. His best game this year so far. Based on game score, was against the Minnesota Timberwolves where he scored 28 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and one block. He’s fourth when it comes to points on the team, averaging 14.9 PPG. Hardaway has been viewed as the third star on the team, so when Doncic and Porzingis are out, he’s the one that has to step up and help lead the team to victory.
The rest of the team has had their good days and their bad days. Reggie Bullock is one of the guys that has to step up big time. One of his strengths was three-point shooting but this season he’s shot a career worse, 27.4% from beyond the arc. Dwight Powell is the team’s primary starting center but he’s been averaging 5.8 PPG and 4.5 RPG. When Porzingis is out, Powell has to step up and take over the big man role. Maxi Kleber started the season off strong defensively but he has slowed down a bit recently when it comes to blocks and steals.
If the team as a whole can build up a next man up mentality and play consistently good, the Mavericks would be a tough team to stop even with their two stars out. If one player can take over the leadership role and play great every game or if a different player on the team has a breakout game each night, the Mavericks will succeed. Next man up mentality would be great for the Mavericks come Christmas time and continue it for the rest of the season, teamwork, when others are injured and out is what will keep the Mavericks a strong team.
Any functioning 7-footer
Reggie Bullock to be unplugged and plugged back in
A vaccine for KP’s knee soreness
A Deeper Rotation
Over the beginning of the season this year, we have seen the need for change in our current roster despite additions the team made this past offseason. With the absence of Luka Doncic, recently, the need for more talent has been made even more abundantly clear.
Between injuries and COVID the Mavs have struggled to stay healthy. Hopefully they can all recover and enjoy their holiday season.
A Win at Dirk’s Jersey Retirement
This one isn’t a must but it would definitely be nice if the Mavs could win against the Warriors. The impact Dirk has had on this organization is immeasurable so to see this night go perfectly for him would be really special.
Sinclair Broadcast Group and streaming services come to a deal
It’s been over a year now where the only way a local fan can watch Mavs games is by finding some random streaming site via Reddit instead of watching on Bally Sports. It’s quite frustrating to continuously refresh and search for quality streams. Sinclair and all streaming services (particularly YouTube TV) should gift Mavs fans with a new deal so we can watch every game of our beloved team.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to join as a guest analyst
Having Dirk on the broadcast on Tuesday night was a joy to listen to and watch. His basketball knowledge is unparalleled, and hearing stories from his time with the franchise is simply amazing. Dirk should be brought in once a month to be a guest analyst (preferably for games we win) on Bally Sports.
The Mavericks extend Brunson or begin exploratory trade talks
This might be a controversial take, but I’ve always been of the notion that holding on to a player for too long does no good and not gaining value for him is detrimental. Jalen Brunson has shown he is a capable starting point guard in this league, a position that every team can certainly utilize. Being an unrestricted free agent this offseason, however, puts the Mavericks in a precarious position. The Mavs should broach the topic of an extension with Brunson’s agent and get a feel for what it would cost to keep him. If the price is too high, they need to begin seeing what his value is on the trade market. This team needs a shake up, and Brunson is arguably their best trade asset at this point.
THJ and Bullock find their stroke
The much criticized Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Reggie Bullock both have struggled as of late to shoot the ball. Whether that’s a product of the new ball, poor shot selection or just a slump, both players are key parts to what the Mavs do on offense: drive and kick. The Mavericks haven’t been great at driving recently, and the kick out part hasn’t worked when two of your best shooters aren’t shooting the ball particularly well. Here’s wishing for a little Christmas magic that THJ and Bullock both find their stroke as we come into the New Year and begin to show why they’re integral parts of this team.
Good Wishes and Happy Holidays
To all Mavs fans out there, I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season with your friends and families!
Categories: Mavs Fans For Life