After two seasons sharing touches in Dallas, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are yet to make a statement in the Western Conference. They were expected to lead the Dallas Mavericks to compete for important stuff, but none of that has happened so far.
In their first year together, Porzingis missed playoff games against the Los Angeles Clippers, who defeated the Mavs in the first round of the 2020 playoff in the bubble. Last season, some chemistry issues and Porzingis getting overlooked on the offensive end prevented the Mavericks from taking revenge, and the Clippers beat them again.
During and after last season, rumors suggested the relationship between Doncic and Porzingis wasn't good and they barely communicated on and off the court. The team's front office made some changes in the summer, trying to fix things.
They'll give it another run with their star duo, who looks ready to shine after two complex seasons. Recently, Luka Doncic called out the media for pushing the narrative that he and Porzingis don't get along.
“I think that’s more [what the] media did to us,” Doncic said on his relationship with Porzingis, via Dallas Morning News. “Not us. Just the media saw it like that. I don’t know. We’re good.”
New head coach Jason Kidd hopes to see his stars communicating more and playing great basketball for the team's sake. The Mavericks know what they have with Doncic. But, if Porzingis can return to his best days, they will be a dangerous threat to the rest of the league.
“They both are playing the game. They’re both having fun. They’re both artists on the floor,” Kidd said. “It’s really, really good. That’s the only way I can see it. In the short time I’ve been with those two, I would have always said there was no problem because those guys are always talking.”
Doncic also added that Kristaps is doing a lot better right now. He praised the Latvian big man's game, saying he's mentally better, which translates to his performances on the court.
“He’s in a way better place now, I think, especially mentally. I think you can see on the court. Everybody can see that he’s playing way better.”
These two can be great in Dallas. They need to find their touch and the balance to make this work. The Texan team had an entertaining offseason, adding interesting pieces to complement Luka and Porzingis.
With the Latvian and Slovenian as their leaders, the Mavericks can surprise a lot of people in the league. Yet, they need to prove they want and can play together before we make any prediction. The potential is there; it remains to be seen if this team can fulfill it.