Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. are a dynamic duo
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks are building their core around Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. and the two players are already clicking as training camp begins.
The Dallas Mavericks have missed out on the playoffs for two straight seasons. The only upside of winning just 57 combined games in two years is the selecting near the top of the draft. The Mavs appear to have drained two consecutive lottery picks with Dennis Smith Jr. and Luka Doncic.
DSJ was second-team All-Rookie last season and Doncic won the EuroLeague MVP. Both players are also under 21 years old. The Mavericks have two foundation pieces to build their next contending team, but they need to learn to co-exist on the court to maximize their potential.
Positive early returns
It turns out Smith Jr. and Doncic spent a lot of time together. Marc J. Spears wrote a must-read piece on the two young Mavs for The Undefeated which you can read here. DSJ and Luka live close to each other and play video games together.
On the court, the two have been playing well. If you need more proof, listen to Dennis Smith Jr. tell you all about it here courtesy of Dwain Price from media day.
They will be two members of starting five this season. DeAndre Jordan, Harrison Barnes, and Wes Matthews figure to join them with an exciting bench group waiting in the wings. That means Doncic and Smith Jr. will see plenty of minutes on the court together.
Below is a quote from Coach Carlisle on them sharing the court courtesy of Brad Townsend.
A bumpy first few games
Fans should not expect too much too soon, though. They are both young players who are used to being the primary ball handler and facilitators, so sharing those responsibilities will be something new and different. Doncic and DSJ have four preseason games to work out the kinks. No team will be a finished product on opening night either.
Mavericks veteran guard J.J. Barea weighed in on the pairing in the Tweet below courtesy of Dwain Price.
Expect both Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. to provide plenty of excitement for Mavs fans in the coming seasons. They have the potential to be one of the best pairings in the NBA in time. Both men want to be successful and win basketball games. Dallas Mavericks fans cannot ask for a lot more than that.
Fans cannot wait for the games to get underway. Seeing the team on the court playing together even in preseason becomes exciting. The Mavericks are just over three weeks away from opening night of the regular season, so the games that count are almost here. Stay tuned.
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