Dallas Mavericks X factor for 2022-23 season: 1. Luka Doncic
The Mavs will go as far as Luka leads them this season. Nobody predicted Dallas would knock out the top-seeded Suns in the second round of the playoffs last year, especially after the Mavericks fell down 2-0 and 3-2 in the series, but number 77 took over in the final two games. He was not going to let the Mavs lose, including architecting a 33-point massacre in Game 7.
Doncic can do it all, and he should be even better this season. The 23-year-old enters the year as the favorite to win MVP after a long summer of basketball with the Slovenian National Team. Expect Luka to be in midseason form from opening night, and that could be a problem for the rest of the league.
What did Doncic add to his game this offseason? Fans have seen glimpses of a hook shot from in the post, but does the Mavericks superstar have something else up his sleeve? Expect some defensive gains and a new offensive weapon or two that further pushes him towards truly impossible to guard.
Can Luka Doncic average a 30-point triple-double for the season? Is he motivated to win MVP this year? If so, expect a monster season and plenty of wins for the Dallas Mavericks. That alone could put the team in a prime position to go on another deep playoff run.