Shocking stat from Dallas Mavericks after 6 games: 4. Fewest assists per game
The Mavs appeared to find a recipe that worked as they reached the conference finals last season, but the team went away from it this summer. Dallas had their most success playing two ball-handlers on the floor at the same time and going small, but the front office let Jalen Brunson walk in free agency, and failed to add a replacement.
Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie are the only two traditional playmakers on their roster, so Dallas cannot afford to play two ball-handlers at all times this season. Coach Kidd has been staggering their minutes, and the Dallas is certainly light on ball-handling in some units.
The Mavericks' lack of playmaking coupled with teams respecting their shooters more has Dallas sitting 30th in assists per game. They were 25th last season, but they were still dishing out 23.4, which was just one per night away from being in the top half of the league. Dallas is producing just 19.2 assists per game this year, and they would need 3.7 more each night if they were going to get back to 25th this season.
The lack of assists has not hurt their offensive production, though. The Mavericks are scoring at an elite rate to begin the year, and the slow pace factors in to the low assists total. Expect Dallas to finish near the bottom in assists per game, but still have an elite offense this season.