Last year, the Dallas Mavericks made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals, but so far this season, they haven’t enjoyed as much success. Dallas is 13-11 on the season, which places them in seventh place in the West.
Head coach Jason Kidd has spent the year experimenting with different rotations. He’s messed with the center rotation, the starting lineup, and other things. But Jaden Hardy hasn’t cracked the rotation yet. Superstar Luka Doncic was asked about it, but he said that the rotations aren’t his job.
“I think you’re asking the wrong person. I’m not the coach,” Doncic said when asked whether or not Hardy could help the Mavericks this season. “I just work here, man”
When pressed for an answer, Doncic complimented Hardy but said that he didn’t have any answers regarding his playing time this season.
“I don’t know where, but he’s obviously shown that he can play. But again, you’re asking the wrong person, man. But yeah, no. Seriously, he’s shown he can play even in the preseason when he was practicing with us. He was amazing. He was hitting shots, making plays. He can really play.”
The Mavericks made a trade in order to select Hardy in the 2022 NBA Draft. He’s only appeared in five games for the Mavericks so far this season, playing 3.8 minutes per contest. However, Hardy has appeared in nine G League games this year. In those contests, he’s averaged 29.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists on 54.8% shooting from the field and 48.2% shooting from three-point land.
Doncic Makes Life Harder
Dallas has run everything through Doncic this season. He’s the fulcrum of their offense and has the numbers to back it up. However, some players around the league don’t think that his style of play is super beneficial.
During an appearance on the Road Trippin’ podcast, Miami Heat wing Max Strus said that he thinks Doncic makes it harder for his teammates to get into a rhythm.
“I just think Luka just has the ball in his hands the whole time, and it’s tougher for guys to get in a rhythm, get in a flow,” Strus said. “But as a teammate and being on his team, I think to take a team to a championship, it’s tougher to get in a rhythm and a flow as a teammate of Luka’s.”
There’s no questioning Doncic’s greatness, but according to Strus, his talent doesn’t necessarily translate into success for those around him.
Former Maverick Discusses Departure
While he never said anything that mirrored Strus’ feelings, former Maverick and current Washington Wizards big man Kristaps Porzingis recently discussed his departure. He was traded from Dallas to Washington last season.
In an interview with Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Porzingis said that he just wasn’t a good fit in Dallas.
“Luka is a generational talent. You have to put the perfect team around him to try to get the maximum out of him, you know?” Porzingis said. “I just wasn’t the right guy.”
Porzingis is playing at an All-Star level now with the Wizards, while the Mavericks are searching for more help to put around Doncic.