2. How will the Mavs utilize Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving's minutes?
After acquiring Kyrie Irving in a midseason blockbuster a season ago, he only appeared in sixteen games next to franchise stalwart Luka Doncic. And in those sixteen games, the Mavs only came away victorious in five.
Entering the 2023-24 season, Jason Kidd and co. must figure out the best way Doncic and Irving will coexist. Doncic has only played on-ball throughout the entirety of his career. Over the course of his career, only 13.6 percent of Doncic's two-point field goals and 26.3 percent of his three-point attempts have been assisted.
As for Irving, his assisted field goal percentages are higher, but he is also best with the ball in his hands, as he is widely considered the best ball handler in all of basketball. Luckily for the Mavs and Irving, the former Blue Devil has spent the majority of his career playing next to a superstar.
Irving has shared the court with LeBron James, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, James Harden, Kevin Durant, and now Doncic. Although the sample size was small a season ago, the results weren't promising playing next to Doncic.
The Mavs re-signed Irving to a multi-year contract in hopes the on-court chemistry between the two stars would change for the better. And, with a full offseason and training camp spent together, the duo should only get better.
With Irving on the roster, his minutes alongside Doncic's will likely be staggered. Irving will get his solo time, while Doncic will get his as well. If head coach Jason Kidd plays it right, there may never be a minute that the lineup won't feature Irving or Doncic as long as the game is competitive.
In order to maximize the duo's potential, Doncic may need to cede touches to his backcourt-mate Irving. But, that doesn't necessarily mean Doncic has to be less involved. Becoming a spot-up shooter every now and then might do wonders for the Dallas offense.
For instance, if Doncic were to up his corner three-point field goal attempts, that would be a step in the right direction.