Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks hovered around the .500 mark through their first 36 games of the 2021-22 NBA season under new coach Jason Kidd. They've picked up steam ever since. The Mavs are tied for fourth-seed alongside the Utah Jazz with an impressive 43-28 record in the Western Conference standings, having won 28 of their last 34 games.
Speaking about their remarkable turnaround, Doncic pointed out that it wasn't going to be easy to record wins consistently with the franchise making changes in the coaching department. Here's what the Slovenian said to former teammate JJ Redick on the latter's podcast, 'The Old Man & the Three' regarding this:
"I would say, we obviously had the whole new coaching staff, so I think you can't start from since the beginning, you know winning games, you've got to build up. I think with J-Kidd, we built something here and it's just been, how do you say, trust the process, I mean that's Philly, but you know what I mean."
Luka Doncic himself has been in sublime form for his team. He has averaged roughly 30 points, ten rebounds and seven assists per game since the start of February. He has faced plenty of criticism for entering the season out of shape, but it hasn't taken him long to get back to his best and help the Mavericks get back to winning ways.
Can Luka Doncic and Dallas Mavericks make a deep run in the playoffs?
Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks have managed to earn the tag of being legitimate playoff contenders heading into every new NBA season. They have faired decently in the regular season, but their playoffs record over the last two years has been underwhelming.
They went up against the LA Clippers both times and endured a first-round exit for two years in a row. Doncic was excellent in both those series, but his teammates did not step up and contribute at a high rate consistently. There is a feeling that this year's roster may have what it takes to make a deep playoffs run.
The Dallas Mavericks traded Kristaps Porzingis and added some talented players like Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans through that trade. Before the start of the season, they also added a quality 3-and-D wing in Reggie Bullock via free agency.
Meanwhile, the likes of Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell have improved a lot under Jason Kidd, and Luka Doncic has continued to play at an MVP-caliber level. The Mavericks now have multiple threats outside of Luka Doncic, something they aimed to achieve last offseason.
The addition of ball handlers like Dinwiddie and the emergence of Brunson, in particular, has been vital to their successful campaign thus far. These factors make a strong case for the Doncic-led Dallas Mavericks to at least have a legitimate chance at upsetting one of the Phoenix Suns or Golden State Warriors and make the Conference Finals.