The Dallas Mavericks are off to a hot start to begin the 2023-24 season. They're second in the Western Conference with a 7-2 record and began the season on a four-game win streak.
Now that three weeks of the season have passed, we're starting to get a better feel for every team in the association. As for the Mavericks, the offense is once again explosive, while the defense remains average, at best.
The Mavericks are launching threes and running the offense through Luka Doncic. But, that's nothing new. The Mavs have ranked in the top 10 in 3-point attempts since the 2014-15 season.
10 Most surprising Dallas Mavericks stats of the early season
And while Doncic was only 15 years old in 2014, he would lead the Mavs in usage percentage only four years later as a 19-year-old rookie. In that same season, 2018-19, Doncic ranked 11th in usage percentage.
Since his rookie season, he hasn't ranked outside the top three in usage rate. Seeing Doncic near the top of the league in usage percentage isn't an unusual sight.
Here we'll look past the obvious stats, such as Dallas' poor rebounding, fondness for 3-pointers, and reliance on Doncic, and focus on the more obscure stats that have involved the Mavericks and the players themselves this season.
10. Kyrie Irving's low 3-point percentage
Kyrie Irving is off to a low-scoring start to begin the season. He's averaging only 21.3 points per game, the fourth-lowest mark of his career.
He's shooting 43 percent from the floor, tied for the lowest mark of his career. And while shooting such a percentage isn't horrendous by any means, his 3-point percentage tells a different story.
Irving is shooting just 33.3 percent from beyond the arc, which would be the second-lowest percentage of his career. And a staggering six percent lower than his career average.
The former Blue Devil's shooting will likely come around soon, but it's certainly odd to see Irving struggling from distance. Among 158 qualifiers for 3-point accuracy, Irving's 3-point percentage ranks 118th.
And despite shooting the three-ball so poorly, he still shoots it frequently. Irving averages 6.4 3-point attempts per game. Coincidentally, it's the lowest amount of three's he's taken per game since the 2015-16 season.
Perhaps Irving's confidence has taken a dip as he's misfiring more often than usual. It's more than likely Irving will start firing away once he starts knocking down the three-ball on a more consistent basis.
Wednesday's game against the Raptors might just be the evidence we need. And, last night's affair is even more of a selling point, as Irving went 5-of-9 from downtown.