A run to the Western Conference Finals capped off an impressive second half of the season last year for the Dallas Mavericks. After trading Kristaps Porzingis at the deadline, they found success running multiple ball handlers around Luka Doncic.
Unfortunately, they lost Jalen Brunson in free agency to the New York Knicks, and although they replaced him with Christian Wood, they still lost a crucial piece to the puzzle. During a recent appearance on the Outta Pocket podcast, Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie spoke about what it’s like playing alongside Doncic.
“Luka is obviously far and away our superstar, and we have other guys who are good players obviously,” Dinwiddie said. “But because there’s not another superstar, it’s not apples to apples, it’s always gonna be Luka and the boys. So you just got to be mentally tough and be built for that off the court, because like I said, on the court he’s going to make it a lot easier.”
Playing with a star of Doncic’s caliber cannot be easy. All of the attention is constantly on him, and what’s even worse is that when the team isn’t playing well, the narrative will usually be about how Doncic doesn’t have enough help.
The Slovenian superstar is playing at an elite level this year. Doncic has appeared in 43 of the team’s 48 games and is playing 37.5 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 33.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per game on 49.6% shooting from the field and 35.7% shooting from behind the three-point line.
As for Dinwiddie, he may not quite be the secondary star some Mavericks fans want to see next to Doncic, but he’s been playing well. The veteran guard has appeared in 47 of the team’s 48 games and is playing 33.9 minutes per contest. He’s averaging 16.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per game on 46.2% shooting from the field and 39.8% shooting from distance.
Spencer Dinwiddie Sounds Off on Media Narratives
As noted, there are certain issues that come with playing with Doncic. One of the biggest is the media’s desire to create narratives about him needing more help. Dinwiddie recently spoke to the Dallas Morning News about these storylines.
“You guys work in the media, and you know that storylines are king, right?” So, we have a 23-year-old savant — it’s very easy to say [‘Luka needs help’]. Luka’s amazing, he’s been the prodigy from the beginning,” Dinwiddie said. “So it’s always gonna be like that because his star power is so much further beyond ours. And in a lot of ways he makes the game easier for us. Because of that, you’re just gonna have to deal with some media backlash sometimes off the court.”
Mark Cuban Denies Luka Doncic is Asking for Help
“Sources said Doncic, who hasn’t shown a desire to be involved in personnel matters in the past, has strongly indicated he wants the Mavs to upgrade before the Feb. 9 trade deadline,” MacMahon wrote.
“Mark Cuban denies that Luka Doncic has indicated he wants the roster to be upgraded before the trade deadline.
“Cuban: ‘Tim MacMahon got it dead wrong. Luka has never suggested, asked, demanded or discussed changes to the roster,’” MacMahon tweeted.
With just a couple of weeks until the February 9 trade deadline, things could get interesting in Dallas.