“The chemistry in the locker room after the changes is an underestimated element,” notes basketball analyst Iztok Franko, who, after returning from Dallas, interviewed the Mavericks and Luka Dončić in the 101st show of the SOS-echoes sports podcast.
Permanent guest on topics related to Luka Dončić and the NBA League, Franko outlet, was at the end of February and the beginning of March in Texas, where he is got an up-close look at the Mavs’ home run and even more of the behind-the-scenes that goes into running a club like Dallas. Leader Slavko Jerič and Tony Gruden invited him to comment on the high-profile trade that brought Kyrie Irving to the club, as well as the crisis of results, as a result of which Dončić and his teammates face an even fiercer fight for direct qualification to the playoffs. Especially if LD77 is out for a few more games due to a hamstring injury.
Changing personalities in the core of the team
“When there’s an opportunity to bring in a big star, you don’t usually look at the rest of the players. It’s Dallas in one year completely changed the locker room. GM Nico Harrison has changed the team, the locker room has also changed very, very much. In last year’s playoffs, you had players like Jalen Brunson, phenomenal not only as a player, but also as a leader, because even in college basketball, he was always the leader of winning teams. He was a calm person, he came to the NBA at the same time as Luka, and he is a name with enough self-confidence that he also once said something to Luka. They lost Boban Marjanović, who was one of the best Luke’s friends in the team. Now he was without Dorian Finney Smith, a player from the core of the team. They made it in Dallas. Also one of Luke’s friends on and off the field. Luka himself said in an interview that he would like to spend his entire career with him.” it is Franko listed the players with the personality that they are have shaped their lives in recent years in Dallas locker rooms.
“Now you’ve been replaced by Kyrie Irwing, JaVale McGee, Markieff Morris, Christian Wood…Personally, they’re each a story for themselves. Here you can see that the chemistry in the locker room is not the best at the moment,” based on conversations in Dallas, Franko deduced that the changed dynamics in the Mavericks’ team also have an impact on poor performances and results.
Kidd’s first task – communication with Dončić
If Dallas has already decided to win with offense and not defense, many fans are wondering why the efficient Christian Wood is no longer playing center. But after conversations with reporters and staff who follow and live with the Mavericks on a daily basis, it is clear to everyone that the disgruntled center is on the sidelines with the coach Jason Kidd.
“Jason Kidd, like Christian Wood, is a name that is very divisive among Dallas fans. The Mavs have lost a lot of games in closing games, where Kidd is blamed for either lack of creativity in determining closing actions or inactivity in deciding on timeouts. When you see up close how this team he works, he breathes, you can see that Jason Kidd’s main task is his relationship with Luka Dončić. Bottom line, his main task is to communicate with his first star or now two.” the SOS-echo guest pointed out that the head coach has half the work done if his first player (or two) is satisfied.
Mavs with too poor a defense to repeat last year’s success
Dallas has already surpassed the number of losses from last season, and with a success rate of 50%, they are in a dangerous position. With a favorable outcome of the last 14 games (of which 8 are away games), they can also be 4th in the West, but in a catastrophic scenario, they can remain outside the top ten and thus not play for the playoffs.
“Dallas is a team that probably nobody wants in the playoffs, especially if they are healthy. They are so explosive in individual series. If Doncic and Irving have their day, they can beat anyone, but the Mavs defense is too bad in my opinion to we would win two, three or even four series. Everything is possible in one series, but their defense is too weak for anything else.” the scope of this year’s Dallas defined Franko.
Last year’s finalists of the West must, of course, go to at the end of the season in final. With the current ones problems with injuries and a drop in form they are closer to the playoff between 7th and 10th place to enter in the right ending.
You are invited to listen to the entire episode (click on the image above), in which they talked about the following topics: − the differences between last year’s and this year’s visit to Dallas and the Mavs’ games, − TV commentator Mark Followil was gifted with Pogačar’s jersey, − criticism of the account Dončić for complaining about referees and physical fitness – about Luka’s problems that led to injury – the Kyrie Irving phenomenon – the Mavs and the tight battle for the playoffs in the West – how Wood’s agent sends his statistics around after every game – most of the remaining away games , but mostly against teams from the bottom− Goran Dragić at Milwaukee in the hunt for a ring− an interesting fact about the number 101 and Lisa Leslie.