The Dallas Mavericks opened the 2021-2022 season on Thursday evening against Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. It was the team’s first game under new head coach Jason Kidd after an undefeated preseason.
The Mavs never quite found their footing on Oct. 21 as they were dominated 113-87 by the reigning Eastern Conference Finalists. There is no shame in losing to the Hawks, but Dallas failed to live up to expectations in the opener.
Luka Doncic will not be happy with his or the team’s performances after the Mavericks were blown out at the State Farm Arena. He finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists in the disappointing season opener. Here are three takeaways for fans that could be here to stay.
Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks season-opening loss to Hawks: 3. Luka off the ball
Luka Doncic led the NBA in time of possession and was fifth in touches last season, but those numbers skyrocketed during the playoffs. Coach Kidd has talked about getting them down to keep the Mavericks superstar fresh and ready for the fourth quarter.
Fans saw multiple positions where someone else brought the ball up the floor and initiated the offense. The Mavericks had an off night with their shots and never found their offensive rhythm, but they are committed to letting everyone touch the ball and taking the ball out of Luka’s hands some.
Tim Hardaway Jr. brought the ball up the floor on Dallas’ first two possessions, and Kidd played Jalen Brunson next to Luka for significant stretches. The Mavericks are going to let those two do more this season, and it will be interesting to see if they are up to the task.