10 Biggest early-season surprises for the Dallas Mavericks

Nov 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA;  Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) and Dallas Mavericks
Nov 1, 2023; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) and Dallas Mavericks / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
10 of 10

1. Kyrie Irving’s offensive struggles

Kyrie Irving’s early season struggles on offense have been well documented in the five games he’s played in so far this season. Irving’s overall process looks excellent on both sides of the ball though, which makes his struggles on the offensive side even more confusing.

Kyrie looks even more comfortable facilitating this year for Dallas, and you can see how the camaraderie he’s built with this group after a full preseason and training camp is translating. Irving has been sneakily good on defense too, as he’s tacked up a lot of steals early on with how savvy he is as a one-on-one defender with his hands, even when out-sized.

Irving is positively affecting the Mavericks from a leadership perspective too, as he can be seen getting hyped for his teammates all the time on the sidelines. Irving offered his two cents in regard to his mentality amidst his shooting slump after Dallas' win against Orlando on Monday night.

"This year is just a focus on basketball and peaking at the right time. You'll hear me say that pretty often. I don't think my accolades are at the forefront either, like making All-Star and making whatever [All-NBA] teams and stuff like that. I think it's just developing as a leader and mature and being able to put one foot in each other in front of the other every single day on and off the court. We're a growing group."

Kyrie Irving

Irving’s early season struggles can definitely be attributed to just a mere shooting slump, and it’s only time before the former All-Star starts converting more on some of his attempts. In the meantime though, he’s still easily the second-best player on the team even if he’s not hitting, so despite his lineup being surprising it shouldn’t have fans too worried.

For all the latest on Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned.