Dallas Mavericks: A new season calls for patience and processes

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The preseason is giving Dallas Mavericks fans a preview of what to expect for the 2018-19 season.

First Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Doncic did this, and fans were all excited. Sure, it was against the Beijing Ducks, but we finally got to see him play. He did all the things we want Doncic to do, and it was glorious. There were crossovers and running floaters that kissed off the glass before falling through the rim. The Mavericks made a fantastic pick.

Then Doncic and the Mavericks hopped on a plane to China, and it looked like his jump shot may have stayed in the States. He went zero of four from behind the arc against the 76ers in Shanghai and four of 11 from the field. He looked like a rookie adjusting to the NBA. The box score looked shaky, but there were some bright spots.

A few days later, Doncic bounced back, hitting three of five 3-pointers on his way to fifteen points and five assists. To sum it up, a star rookie had some ups and downs in his first three NBA exhibition games. That’s…not surprising.

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Feeling the injuries

Then there are the injuries. Dirk Nowitzki‘s ankle isn’t feeling right. Dwight Powell has a sore knee. Harrison Barnes and J.J. Barea are both dealing with hamstring issues. Even guys on the bubble of the roster are dealing with issues, like Ding Yanyuhang and his knee. The Mavs’ training staff already have their hands full, and the grind of the regular season hasn’t started yet.

Though not injured, DeAndre Jordan didn’t make the trip to China due to a death in his family.

And so it goes.

A roller coaster upcoming

The Mavericks haven’t even reached opening night, yet there’s already been plenty for Mavs fans to be excited and bummed about. And that’s how the whole year will go. This won’t be a magical season where everything goes the Mavericks’ way. There are still several holes on this team, and even the bright spots like Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. have room for improvement.

Get ready for a roller coaster of a season, Mavs fans. Some nights Doncic and Smith will look like a duo ready to change the NBA. Other nights, you’ll be wondering if Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson should go ahead and trade them both.

Dallas will get on a hot streak and win four games in a row, then lose the next five. A key player will get injured, then return. The rotation will get shuffled again and again.

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Remember the Mavericks are in the middle of a rebuild, not the end or the beginning. The future is bright, and if you’re willing to go along for the ride, you’ll get to see these young Mavs develop into something special. Be patient, focus on the process and not results, and watch for the seeds of championship basketball to sprout this season.