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
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6. Josh Green coming off the bench

After Josh Green agreed to a three-year $41 million contract extension with Dallas right ahead of the season starting, it was assumed amongst most that he was going to maintain his starting position from last season. Green had an excellent preseason and showcased a lot of off-the-dribble shot creation that had many Mavericks fans intrigued about the possibility of him taking yet another offensive leap.

Green also performed extremely well defensively for the Australian national team this past summer and found ways to make his imprint on the game despite his minimized role offensively at the FIBA World Cup, so all signs were pointing toward a breakout season for Green in Dallas.

However, Green has come off the bench to start the season barring a couple of games where Kyrie Irving was out and he objectively hasn't caught stride offensively yet. Green's shot mechanics have still looked good, but he's been much more out of control and sporadic in one-on-one opportunities that he oftentimes saw himself taking advantage of last year.

The Mavericks could admittedly do a better job of getting Green involved offensively by implementing some more curl actions for him and possibly letting him run a few pick and rolls every game as he only attempts to create for himself if he's wide-open because one of Doncic or Irving are trapped.

Green also isn't performing as well defensively though, and is resorting to bad habits that plagued him before last season from time to time such as over-fouling and gambling for steals too often. If Green can harness his athleticism on defense to become more disciplined once again, he may start to turn heads in regard to his spot in the rotation especially if he can generate steals to get out in transition more.

The door isn't closed on Green having a breakout season quite yet, but he'll need to at least prove himself to be more worthy of the definitive starting small-forward spot in Dallas in a potential make-or-break season.