Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks first 5 games: 5. JB taking a leap
Jalen Brunson took a significant step forward in his third NBA season. His minutes increased to 25.0 per game as he averaged 12.6 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds and finished fourth in the Sixth Man of the Year balloting. JB disappeared in the playoffs as the Clippers' length and perimeter defense hampered his effectiveness.
There was talk all summer about the Mavs needing to add a secondary ball-handler behind Luka Doncic, but Brunson worked to be that guy. His playmaking has taken a significant step forward as he is averaging 5.2 assists per game through his opening five. JB is also second on the team in plus-minus during the small sample size. He just looks more comfortable on the floor.
Fans have seen Jalen Brunson come in and dominate the competition so far this season. He was the spark that helped the Mavericks defeat the rival Spurs, and JB is taking another leap this season.
Expect him to set a new career-high in assists and minutes played. Coach Kidd is using him next to Luka more and allowing Brunson to lighten the Mavs superstar’s workload, and the 25-year-old is rewarding his team handsomely. Expect all of that to continue.