The Mavericks ended the year on a disappointing note, falling short of that elusive Larry O’Brien Trophy.
This season, however, was a huge step in the right direction for this franchise.
The 2021-22 season started off.. well, pretty rocky. At a 16-18 record, Coach Kidd became the scapegoat for a team that didn’t look ready to make a push for the playoffs.
These Mavs would end up turning things around, with a dramatic improvement defensively. Dallas peaked at second in league defensive rating back in January.
Then of course, the Kristaps Porzingis trade, that brought in Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. A move that GM Nico Harrison emphasized gave Dallas roster flexibility after offloading the max contract of Porzingis. Harrison’s comments after the trade deadline indicate that he will be aggressive this offseason in bolstering up the roster. I’d like to think we’ll see a move similar to Milwaukee acquiring Jrue Holiday.
We should recognize what this 2021-22 Maverick team accomplished, especially after where they appeared to be back in November.
“We laid the foundation and now we can start building,” Jason Kidd stated at his exit interview.
Dallas won’t look ahead to the 2022-23 season with the conference finals as the starting line. There is no guarantee that they will be back in the position that they were this past season. Instead, the Mavericks now have much needed playoff experience under their belt.
It took a decade to get back out of the first round and Dallas now has the foundation laid toward building a championship team.
The offseason priority will be re-signing Jalen Brunson. “We can pay him more than anybody,” said Mark Cuban. “I think he wants to stay and that’s most important.” Brunson has proven to be a part of that foundation after proving his value throughout this season.
The Mavericks have a lot to hang their hat on as we reflect on this year.