Luka Doncic is having a historic season, consequently establishing himself as a legitimate MVP candidate. Questions continue to burgeon, however, as to whether this iteration of the Mavericks is good enough to contend. Former Dallas player Chandler Parsons believes that the team is a “second star” away from being a bonafide title threat, per Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz.
The Mavericks are ninth in the Western Conference, with a record of 12-11. Despite hallmark wins against powerhouses such as the Suns and Warriors, Dallas also has depleting losses on their resume, too. They fell to the Pistons in overtime just last week, dropping their road record to 1-8 at the time.
It is certainly a multivariate situation. Perhaps the most salient issue, though, is how Doncic-centric Dallas’ offense is. Once again amongst the league leaders in usage rate, ostensibly every offensive possession is orchestrated by the 23-year-old. This leaves the Mavericks susceptible to defensive schemes that aim to box Doncic out of the offense.
Parsons recognizes this problem. While he understands that the Slovenian native is capable of otherworldly feats, a ‘Robin’ to his ‘Batman’ is necessary to win the championship.
“With Luka, anything can happen,” Parsons told Sideline Sources’ Wenzell Ortiz. “I’d love to see Mark get him a second star. If that happens, I can see them making a deep run.”
The 34-year-old played nine seasons in the NBA. Unfortunately, his career was cut short due to injuries. In two seasons with the Mavericks, Parsons averaged 14.7 points, on 39.7% from three.
Jason Kidd recognizes Dallas’ unsustainable reliance on Doncic
When Kidd was the head coach of Milwaukee, he employed a similar strategy to the one he currently uses in Dallas. Only Giannis Antetokounmpo was the player shouldering the lion’s share of the team’s responsibility.
The 49-year-old understands the trepidation that comes with having Doncic put the team on his back game after game. Kidd is still ruminating on how to find that balance without another bonafide offensive threat.
“For 82 games, it’s no way that he can play at this level, the usage is just way too high,” Kidd told Yahoo Sports. “No one can. You know, the things that we ask him to do on the offensive end and then asked him to defend on the other end. It’s a lot.
We got to get them help and we got to look to see how we can do that. His minutes are extremely high. You try to hold him [on the bench] but a lot of times you gotta bring him back early just to get back in the game.”
Doncic is currently second in NBA.com’s MVP ladder. For the season, he is averaging 33.4 points, 8.5 assists, and 8.5 rebounds.