The Dallas Mavericks kicked off their 2018-19 season last night against the Phoenix Suns. Rough start losing by 21 points to the league’s worst team from last season.
The Mavs were without Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes, but it was still a disappointing way to open the season with poor shooting, poor defense, and poor showing from the free throw line.
So, how will the Mavericks do this season? Will they make the playoffs? Can anyone beat the Golden State Warriors? Let’s look into our NBA Crystal Ball and find out.
- I am projecting Dallas will win 41 games and miss the playoffs. 41 wins seems right in a season that might be Dirk’s last. This team is certainly better but so is the Western Conference. Everything would have to break right for the Mavs to finish in the top-8. Things are already falling apart with injuries to Dirk, Barnes, and Devin Harris. Forty plus wins would be a good accomplishment for this group.
- Luka Doncic will average 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists as a rookie but will not win the Rookie of the Year award.
- Instead Trae Young will edge out Deandre Ayton for NBA Rookie of the Year as the only rookie to average more than 15 points per game. Doncic will finish third in the voting.
- Dirk will return from his ankle injury in late December coming off the bench and solidifying the best second unit in the league during the season half of the season along with J.J. Barea, Devin Harris, Dwight Powell, and Dorian-Finney Smith.
- The Mavericks will trade Wesley Matthews to the Utah Jazz at the deadline in exchange for a second round draft choice (and a roster player to make the money work).
- East Playoff teams: Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Washington Wizards
- West Playoff teams: Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs
- NBA Finals: Golden State Warriors over it doesn’t matter because no one can beat them this year unless Curry and Durant both get hurt.
- Just like Adrian Beltre with the Texas Rangers, Dirk will come back for one more season in 2019-20 with the Mavericks making a final push for Dirk to return to the NBA Playoffs.
Brian Roe is the founder and lead writer of The Roe Report. He spent five years working for the Dallas Stars and has been a contributor at Hockey’s Future, The Hockey Writers, NHL Intel, and more. Follow Brian on Twitter @brianproe.