The Lakers should match up pretty well with the Mavericks, but that could go out the door if Luka Doncic becomes a superstar.
Harrison Faigen is once again out with an(other) injury, so this week, it was up to me to carry the latest edition of The Lakers Lounge. My guest to replace the ever-ailing man known as FAIGEN is Kirk Henderson of MavsMoneyball, and we previewed how the Los Angeles Lakers and Kirk’s Dallas Mavericks match up.
Honestly, I can’t figure out this Mavericks team. On one hand, Luka Doncic is one of the league’s most special players on the offensive side of the ball, they’ve carved out an identity as one of the toughest teams to defend in the history of the sport, and yet they’ve played a total of 13 playoff games the last two seasons, all against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Dallas has a new head coach in Jason Kidd, a new general manager in Nico Harrison, and as we learn on the pod, one fewer annoying voice in the front office. How all that will work heading into a season in which Doncic could take “the leap” is going to be fascinating.
All this said, in terms of roster makeup, Dallas is pretty similar to the Lakers. An elite playmaking wing, a versatile center and shooting surrounding those players is a great way to build the team. Unfortunately for Dallas, however, LeBron James is still a better overall player than Doncic, and Anthony Davis is a far better player than Kristaps Porzingis.
So just in terms of the simplest analysis on these teams, if they’re built similarly, and the Lakers have advantages at the two most important positions, that’s a tough series for Dallas.
Still, a whole bunch can go right for Dallas this season and the hope, according to Kirk, is that this new organization makeup will entice more elite-level talent than under Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle, which ups the ceiling moving forward. If Doncic takes that leap into superstardom and Kidd has learned anything from his past mistakes as a head coach, Dallas could be pretty dangerous.
We talked about all this and more in this week’s Lounge.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.