Why Luka Doncic will win MVP in 2023: 3. Dallas Mavericks win 50-plus
It is easy to forget that Dallas won 52 games last season after a rough 17-18 start. From Jan. 1 to the end of the season, the Mavs won at a 74.4 percent clip, which is a 61-win pace over an 82-game season.
The team's incredible play matches up with Luka Doncic returning after an ankle injury and a stint in the health and safety protocols. The 23-year-old superstar struggled by his lofty standards to start the year, but he was one of the best players in the world from Jan. 1 on.
Fans can argue that the Mavericks are worse after the departure of Brunson in free agency, but they are 11 wins worse when factoring in that number 77 is in shape and in midseason form to start the year after a long summer of basketball with the Slovenian National Team? Dallas is going to win 50-plus.
Nikola Jokic won his second straight MVP award last season, and the Nuggets only had 48 victories. Being one of the best teams in the league used to be a significant factor in MVP voting, but now it appears to be used as more of a tiebreaker than a criteria used in the selection process. It won’t matter as Luka Doncic leads Dallas to 50-plus wins and a top-four finish in the Western Conference for the second straight year.