The Dallas Mavericks are this close to being 8-0 to start the 2022-23 season. They blew massive leads against the Suns and Thunder and dropped a disappointing game to the shorthanded Pelicans to sit at 5-3 after eight games, and Luka Doncic is on a historic pace after scoring 30-plus in all eight to open the year. Dallas has won three straight and early signs point to the Mavs being an unwanted opponent.
They have the best offensive rating in the league and currently sit fifth in net rating. Luka and company produced a historic offensive rating in 2020 that led the league, so fans know the Mavericks are more than capable there. Dallas was seventh in net rating last season when they finished fourth in the Western Conference before making a deep postseason run.
Trends are beginning to form after eight games, but what should fans believe in after a small sample? Here is a closer look at three developing stories for the Mavs to see if fans are buying or selling.
Buy or sell on 3 Dallas Mavericks trends: 3. Need another ball-handler
The Mavs continue to feel the loss of Jalen Brunson. He left to join the Knicks in free agency, and Dallas could not find a replacement. The Mavericks had their most success last season with two ball-handlers on the floor, but now they have just Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie on their roster.
Both players start, but head coach Jason Kidd is forced to stagger their minutes, so Dinwiddie can run the second unit. The 6’5 guard has helped the Mavs to an 8.43 net rating when he is on the floor, and Luka is on the bench, according to PBP Stats, but Dallas needs that third ball-handler if they are going to make a deep postseason run.
There is significant worry about Luka Doncic or Spencer Dinwiddie missing time because the Mavericks will have nobody to lead when the healthy player rests. It is why they signed Facundo Campazzo, but the veteran has played just 16 total minutes so far.
The Dallas Mavericks desperately need another ball-handler that can run the offense, make plays, and score. They should be in the market for such an option before February’s trade deadline.