Reggie Miller sees Mavs as an 8th seed, says Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic are a ‘fantastic pairing’
The Dallas Mavericks have managed to build one of the most intriguing young duos in the NBA with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Former NBA great Reggie Miller sees the potential of the duo and the Mavs as a whole.
Before the start of last season, Miller had projected the Mavs to earn the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff picture. While his prediction was wrong, he believes that injuries played a key role in them underachieving. He told reporters on a conference call that he is ‘sticking’ with the Mavs to finish eighth in the West this season.
“Well,” Miller said with a chuckle, via Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. “I was foreshadowing to this year. That’s exactly what I was doing.
“And I’m still sticking with the Dallas Mavericks. Currently I have them in the eighth slot. I had them in the eighth spot last year, but they did have the rash of injuries. Even though Luka was fantastic, having obviously won Rookie of the Year, it just wasn’t enough.
“But I do have them making the playoffs this year as a surprise Western Conference team. … It’s going to be a difficult Western Conference this year, but I do think they have enough pieces to scratch into the playoffs.”
Miller could run into a similar issue with his projection about the Mavs if Porzingis undergoing a load management program that could cause him to sit for up to 15-20 games during the season becomes too damaging to their record. The competition will be quite fierce as it is and not having a star player for nearly a fourth of the games is concerning.
Something that caught Miller’s attention from the NBA offseason was the trend of teams forming dynamic duos. He believes that Doncic and Porzingis stack up well with most of the duos across the league.
“I put Porzingis and Doncic right up there, especially what I’ve seen during preseason. … I think they have a chance to be great together because both of them, obviously having played international basketball with one another and against one another, they know one another’s similarities.
“So I think this is going to be a fantastic pairing. To me Porzingis has a chip on his shoulder. Because everything I’ve been reading, people wanting to come after him and ‘has the Unicorn lost something?’ People are talking about this being a revenge season for LeBron, but this could be a revenge season for Kristaps, as well.”
A lot of factors have to go in a team’s favor when competing for a playoff spot as one of the fringe contenders. The Mavs will be no exception to that, but if the availability of key players doesn’t become too big of an issue, Miller’s prediction could look on target.