10 Things Mavericks need to do to gain respect in West with the help of Jim Varney

AJ Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Dallas Mavericks need to engage their role players

Oh boy, we’re into the straight-to-video Ernest flicks. Believe it or not, the beloved family-film icon’s movies failed to sustain any box office profitability. But it’s fitting that the first Ernest property to be denied a theatrical release was Slam Dunk Ernest, wherein Varney’s silverless screen protagonist discovers that to be a real star in the game of basketball, you need to pass the ball. 

You can see where I’m going with this. One takeaway from Wednesday was the way the ball moved. The Mavs had 23 assists, pretty much right on their average of 22.5 despite missing their assist leader. But with Luka Doncic back, that ball movement needs to continue. Luka, with all the passing skills of at least a hundred maintenance-men-turned-NBA-prospects, would be wise to recognize that in the 20 games in which he had double-digit assists, Dallas is 15-5.

By the way, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar plays an angel in that movie. A true classic.

3. Dallas Mavericks need Kyrie Irving to use his skills

Ernest conquers the antagonist in Ernest Goes to Africa by leaning fully into his greatest skill: the yo-yo. This one’s… not good. 

But there is some prudency here: if you have a skill, use it. The Mavs beat the Spurs despite scoring only 44 points in the paint, pretty much right on their league-worst season average. That they’ve had the season they’ve had despite these woes could be, to someone as hopelessly optimistic as Ernest himself, a sign of hope.

But since coming to Dallas, Kyrie, with his ability to get to the rim, has averaged 10.4 points in the paint per game, which would be the third-highest average of his career.

Use your yo-yo, Kyrie.