Mavericks, many questions answered during memorable season; it’s time to go

Theo Pinson Requisitioned the final post-game press conference of the season and sat on the podium in the visiting media area of ​​the Chase Center to ask questions.The fourth-year veteran’s infectiousness led Jason Kidd to describe him as the team’s “MVP” earlier this season, and he made it clear right away Mavericks‘It wasn’t a tragic moment to end the season 120-110 in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.

Although Pinson is dressed in black, the color is warrior Uniform, this is not a funeral.

“Man, this team, we had a lot of fun together,” Pinson said. “No team has more fun than playing together. Here’s one thing: I’ll never forget these guys.”

to which Tim Hardaway Jr.Followed Pinson into the media area and shouted, “Boy, step down. It’s time to go.”

time to go. Those four words can describe every moment of the Mavs’ spectacular season. They’ve made the playoffs bigger than anyone expected and are now heading into the future with more confidence than any season in the past decade. Around this time last year, longtime general manager Donnie Nelson was fired and veteran head coach Rick Carlisle left.It’s a shocking change for tenure in internal turmoil, but no doubt, looking back, it was needed. Time to go.

It’s hard to remember or describe the bleak feeling of last December, when Mavs role players were indiscriminately added to health and safety protocols and the roster was littered with temporary signings — some of whom played just one game and then I joined these agreements myself. Dallas had a sub-.500 game from that month, and looking back on those weeks, the team’s transformation has slowly occurred. In fact, Jaylen Brunson He told me earlier this season that he felt the team’s defensive principles really took hold that month, when players were forced to become teachers, instructing incoming temporary students on how the team wanted to play. However, if the results don’t cover the team’s lackluster start, it probably doesn’t’s time to go.

They did, winning 10 of their next 11 games. Kristaps Polzis Missed since the last game in January, the team has continued to soar without him. That emboldens the new-look front office, led by Nico Harrison and Michael Finley, promising to move on without Polzie. Once they’re sure he won’t be part of the future, it’s logical for them to leave him as soon as possible. There was no celebration or victory lap when Porzingis was traded, although the team rightly believed they would not back down. But it’s time to go.

dallas lost Luka Doncic On the final day of the season, he missed the opening three games of the first round due to injury. For Brunson, it was time to leave.The team then lost the first two games phoenix suns In the division semifinals, only a seven-game series win came back to roar. Then came the Western Conference Finals series against Golden State, where the Mavericks won the game.the series could have More competitive, yes, but the Warriors are ultimately better. After everything that has happened this season, and after the turmoil, bleakness, rebuilding and uncertainty of the past year, the season ended on Thursday — time to leave.

But while the Mavericks haven’t succumbed to this particular ending, there’s certainly been a lot of joy in what’s happened this season. An understanding that something meaningful has been done. Acknowledging that the hardships overcome are worth it, that there is hope for everything to come, and as Kidd has often said, the journey has only just begun.

it’s time to go, it Yes Time to go, where the future might take them.

It should be said that the future is not guaranteed and progress is not always linear. Dallas is one of the best four teams this season, but this season is not the next, and each year brings changes and weaknesses that are unforeseeable after this Western Conference finals. Do the Mavs need a second star, or a more talented role player? A two-way center, or a proper playmaking wing? A Slovenian who has been killing himself all summer? Or, an award-winning male lead tasked with cutting down on screen time a bit? A better bench? Or just go further?

These were issues that existed before the end of the season, but now come to the forefront with more urgency. They should be discussed with appropriate depth and the necessary caution in the team’s office or even on this website. (To be clear, the conversations within the team are meaningful, but don’t worry, I’ll be talking a lot about these issues in the coming weeks and months.) It seems increasingly obvious that Brunson will return , but what happens after that? What will the future of the team look like after the offseason? What have we learned from Kidd’s coaching role that will carry over into next season? And so on, the problem continues.

But right now, at this point, it’s important to acknowledge what the Mavericks have accomplished in 2021-22. That’s not what was expected of them, and it’s a step further than the goals set at the beginning of the year. At the lowest point of the season, that doesn’t seem plausible, and no one expected it to go the way it did. But Dallas has done just that, exuding joy and unity from every aspect of this team.

It’s been a hell of a season. It’s time to look forward only when you fully appreciate the last retrospective.

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(Photo by Luka Dončić: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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