Worrying Dallas Mavericks trend to watch: 3. Lack of ball-handling
Heliocentric is the word of the early season for the Mavericks. Dallas lost Jalen Brunson in free agency, and they did not find a like-for-like replacement, which put more offensive creation on Luka Doncic’s plate. He was already leading the league in usage, and it has jumped to one of the highest marks in league history in the early going.
Spencer Dinwiddie starts in the backcourt next to Doncic, and he has been fantastic through 12 games. The 6’5 guard averages 18.5 points, 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 33.1 minutes per game. Coach Kidd likes to play Dinwiddie next to Luka, but he is forced to stagger their minutes because they are the only two playmakers and offensive creators on the roster.
The Mavericks' harshest critics will say they have 1.5 players that can dribble, which is not true. Dinwiddie is a capable playmaker and ball-handler. Beyond that, Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr. can create shots for themselves. The rest of the roster is catch-and-shoot options. Dallas needs more offensive creation, and the only way they are going to get it is via trade.
Without a deal, they will have to keep putting a massive workload on the shoulders of Luka Doncic, which will likely catch up to the 23-year-old superstar at some point this season.