Former Maverick shows serious doubt in team's potential success

Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks v San Antonio Spurs / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks began their season Wednesday night against Victor Wembanyama and the San Antonio Spurs.

Dallas won their first game of the season 126-119. Luka Doncic stole the show as he recorded a triple-double with 33 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Irving accompanied with 22 points. The Mavs trailed most of the game, as they got their first lead midway through the third.

Rookie Dereck Lively II joined in on the action. Lively II recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He outdueled the Spurs' rookie, who finished with 15 points and five rebounds.

Former Maverick shows serious doubt in team's potential success

The Mavericks outscored the Spurs down low as they recorded 56 points inside the paint. The defense pulled through with six steals and 35 defensive rebounds.

However, even after a 1-0 start, not everyone is sold on the Mavs.

Former Dallas Maverick JJ Redick is not so high on Dallas this season. He believes defense will be the team's kryptonite.

In a recent podcast episode of The Old Man & the Three, JJ Redick spoke about the Mavericks' potential this season. He stated that defense should be a reason for concern. Redick mentions how they prioritized offense over defense by acquiring Kyrie Irving.

"Last year pre-trade, they were 23rd in the league in defense efficiency, gave up a little less than 115 points per 100 possessions. Post-trade, they were 25th and gave up 118 points per 100 possessions. "

JJ Redick

He goes on to mention how the Mavs struggled in rim protection. Last season, Dallas allowed their opponents to score 51.1 percent of their points inside. The team averaged 31.2 defensive rebounds. They contested 23.2 percent of their opponent's defensive rebounds.

Dallas could have solved this issue with the addition of Lively II. The Mavs traded down for Lively II during the 2023 NBA Draft. In college, the Mavericks rookie tallied 112 rebounds in 34 games played. During the preseason, he averaged five rebounds in 20.5 minutes per game. Last night, he had five defensive boards and a block.

Reddick believes Dallas' defensive problems would have been solved earlier if the team traded for Jrue Holiday instead of Irving. He mentions that Holiday is a two-way player who can get it done on both sides. Last season, Holiday averaged 19.3 points per game and finished seventh in voting for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The former Mav explained that Dallas did not do enough this offseason to solve their defensive woes. The team added veterans Dante Exum, Derrick Jones Jr., and Grant Williams this offseason to help improve the defense. However, the team lost a valuable defensive piece in Dorian Finney-Smith, who was traded in the Irving deal.

Could Reddick be right? Will the Dallas' defense' be their Achilles heel?

The Mavericks will look to improve to 2-0 Friday night when they play host to to the Brooklyn Nets.

We'll have you covered with all the latest news on the Dallas Mavericks this season, so stay tuned.