The success of the Dallas Mavericks revolves around Luka Doncic, who’s established himself as a top-ten player in the NBA. Just 22 years old, he’s a generational talent that has the potential to become one of the best players in the history of the league.
The fourth-year superstar has been one of the best players in the NBA for a while now, but now has the opportunity to earn the NBA Most Valuable Player award.
In fact, he’ll have a chance at being one of the youngest players to win the award in the history of the league. Derrick Rose holds the current record, at 22 years and 191 days on the final day of the regular season in which he was crowned MVP.
Doncic will be 23 at the end of the 2021-22 season, but still would be one of the youngest in history if he were able to pull it off. With that in mind, it won’t be easy and will take a collective effort from his teammates if he is going to accomplish what he needs to.
Does Doncic have a real shot at winning MVP this season?
Heading into the 2021-22 season, Doncic is the MVP favorite according to OddsShark, with +400 odds.
Last season, Doncic was absolutely spectacular. In the regular season, he averaged 27.7 points 8.6 assists and 8.0 rebounds per game.
What was most impressive was his improvement from beyond the arc, converting on 35.0% of his 8.3 attempts per game.
As the clear leader and best player on the Mavericks, he led the team to a 42-30 record, good for fifth in the Western Conference.
He got even better in the playoffs, averaging 35.7 points while shooting 40.8% from 3 on 10.9 attempts per contest.
Now, with expectations as high as ever, Doncic will look to lead Dallas past the first round of the playoffs, where they’ve fallen in two consecutive seasons. That starts with earning one of the top seeds in the Western Conference to give them a better path to a deep run.
If he’s able to carry the Mavericks to having one of the best records in the West, he has a real shot at winning the MVP.
What it Takes
If Doncic is truly going to be an MVP frontrunner, the Mavericks are going to have to win a ton of games. Over the past decade, it’s been very rare for a player to win that award without being on one of the best teams in the league.
One of the only exceptions to this rule was Russell Westbrook’s MVP season in the 2016-17 season when the Thunder were the sixth seed in the Western Conference.
The stats will be there for Doncic, who’s a triple-double machine that is able to score, facilitate and pull down rebounds. It will come down to the number of wins for the young superstar’s odds at winning the prestigious award.
In a tough Western Conference, Dallas will have to get off to a hot start in the 2021-22 season if they’re going to be near the top of the standings at the end of the year. For reference, in the 2018-19 season when we last saw an 82-game NBA season, five teams in the West had a win percentage higher than .600 when it was all said and done. Last season, Dallas was just below that with a .583 win percentage.
All things considered, for Doncic to win the MVP award this season, he’ll likely have to carry the Mavericks to being a top three team in the Western Conference.