Column: Student fan evaluates mid-season outlook for Mavericks


Isabel Multer

This Canva graphic, made by columnist Isabel Multer, reveals that the Dallas Mavericks’ mid-season outlook is on her mind. The attached article depicts Multer’s view of how the Mavericks look halfway through the season. She also considers what’s coming for the team.

With less than a month until the National Basketball Association’s All-Star game, we can now see the capabilities of each team as the first half of the 2022-23 season wraps up. As of Jan. 21, the Boston Celtics stand strong at the top of the league with a 34-12 record, while the Houston Rockets sit at the bottom at 10-35.

But, students here want to know where do the Dallas Mavericks fall in this wide range of competition? Will there be adjustments made before the trade deadline? How will the Mavericks look moving forward and into the playoffs? Let’s find out as we see where Dallas is at mid-season.

Let’s tip off…

The Mavericks, led by head coach Jason Kidd, are currently fifth in the western conference of the NBA with a record of 25-22. This position will be crucial going into the second half of the season as the western conference is extremely tight between records. The Dallas team stats are actually surprisingly low despite being toward the top of the rankings.

The team ranks 30th in rebounds per game, 29th in assists per game, and 17th in points per game, which are all below the median.

Last season Dallas ended the regular season with 30 total losses, and now with just over 50 games left, it’s doubtful they will stay under that tally this year.

These statistics are important to look at because the Mavericks were able to close out December with a seven game win streak, their longest of the season, but the team is left with a few holes within the roster that must be filled.

On the clock…

The NBA’s trade deadline is set for Feb. 9 and with Luka Dončić carrying the team on his back, Dallas fans are hoping for some modifications to the roster. Dončić has made his name well-known across the league as the Dallas dominant star and one of the best point guards in the league. During the Dallas seven-game win streak, Dončić put up an astounding 61-point, 21 rebounds, 10 assist performance followed by a 35-point triple-double the next game, and another 50-point game on Dec. 31.

We could talk all day about this 23-year-old’s eye-catching skill in the league, but what good is it doing for the team without backup? Following the Mavericks’ 4-1 defeat in the western conference finals of the 2022 playoffs, we could see the roster needed more depth. It became even clearer when the team lost Jalen Brunson in July, putting Spencer Dinwiddie and Christian Wood in charge of becoming the next potentially big playmakers for the Mavericks.

Dinwiddie currently averages 16.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 5.2 assists while Wood averages 18.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists. These numbers tell us what is keeping Dallas afloat, but what is going to be needed for this team to take their expertise to the next level in the post-season?

For one, Dallas will need to keep Wood as his talent has matured on the team, but he will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Additionally, Dallas will want to find talent to help Dončić which could involve trades including first-round draft picks or options such as Mike Conley, Terrence Ross and many more targets.

Another notable factor in the team’s struggles is injuries. Every team deals with them throughout the season, but for Dallas – injuries with starters, Christian Wood and Tim Hardaway Jr., along with reliable sixth man Dwight Powell, do not make the road to finals easy.

The western conference is a tight race, and with other well-rounded teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies and Denver Nuggets in competition, the Mavericks need to approach the remainder of the season one game at a time and play smart.

To sum it up, Dallas will look to find the perfect fit for Dončić and build the efficient sustainable offense we know the Mavericks are capable of. 

Looking ahead…

Ultimately, what the Mavericks choose to do in the upcoming weeks to the trade deadline should issue a solid outlook on the remainder of the season. With a fitting trade, the offense built around Dončić should be elevated to bring Dallas a playoff run just as long as last year’s. Nevertheless, without Dallas proving their significance in the second half of the season, they could fall into close competition within the first stages of the playoffs.

To see how this team will take advantage of their star talent moving forward will be exciting to watch, and I look forward to it!