The reason Luka Doncic, Mavs are NBA Finals sleeper picks, per Alex Caruso
For Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso, the rest of the NBA and the Western Conference shouldn’t write off the Dallas Mavericks as a potential NBA Finals contender.
After seeing the Mavs lose Jalen Brunson in free agency, Caruso expects that a lot of people will overlook Dallas in their title predictions. However, Caruso believes Dallas has all the tools necessary to compete at the highest level, from the coaching to its roster headlined by Luka Doncic.
Caruso made the comments in his appearance on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man & The Three” podcast, explaining why he has the Mavs as his NBA Finals sleeper pick even though they shouldn’t be a sleeper team in the first place.
“For me, I think even losing Jalen [Brunson], it’s Dallas. I don’t think they count as a sleeper pick, but I know how J-Kidd operates, I know how Duds operates, I know Greg St. Jean …. I know how those guys operate, mentally,” Caruso shared.
“The star power that Luka has, he’s only going to get better. Even this year, I thought they had a chance to get there. Obviously, they reached the Western Conference Finals. They might not be a sleeper pick, but I don’t think beginning of the season anyone is going to be saying Dallas will be back there.”
Alex Caruso certainly makes a good point. Fans and experts alike see the Mavs weakening after the departure of Jalen Brunson, but they did improve on other areas and should get back a healthy Tim Hardaway Jr.
Furthermore, the presence of a transcendent talent like Luka should make the Mavs instant title contenders. Not to mention that he’s being guided by a brilliant coach who knows how to win.
Of course it is up to the Mavs to live up to the potential Caruso mentioned, though it does show how Dallas has established itself as a legitimate threat in the West.
Bulls G Alex Caruso was asked on the @OldManAndThree Podcast who his Western Conference NBA Finals sleeper team was for this upcoming season:
“For me I think even losing Jalen [Brunson] I think it’s Dallas [Mavericks]. #MFFL
— Kevin Gray Jr. (@KevinGraySports) July 18, 2022