Mavs Gaming began Season 2 with the best start in NBA 2K League history, going 10-0 to open the season and setting expectations very high. Dimez had fully arrived as the league’s first-ever Draft pick and he and PeteBeBallin quickly created one of the best pick-and-roll duos in the league. Sherm, Mo, and Rux formed a great trio on the wing and helped turn Mavs Gaming into one of the best, if not the best, defensive team in the league. Then, things started to trend a different direction. Mavs Gaming didn’t live up to expectations in THE TURN and THE TICKER and were ousted from the Playoffs in the 1st round by a red-hot CLTX Gaming team. A relatively quiet offseason sees them returning most of their starting 5 from last season along with drafting Dimez’ pro-am teammate Sleetys to take Rux’s spot at PF. It’s a good team with a great head coach in LT, but there are two big questions that will define the Mavs Gaming season. What is this team’s ceiling? Can you win a title with this core? We’ll have the answers to both by the end of the season.
LT proved himself last season as not just one of the best coaches in the league, but one of the best people managers as well. Keeping that team focused during a huge win streak was no easy feat on its own. He didn’t get overwhelmed in his first season as coach and led Mavs Gaming to the best start in league history, but the team’s performance in tournaments can’t be understated. Hopefully, another season with this group will help them turn things around when the money is on the line. It’s also worth noting that they having an assistant coach, Lance Sessions, who is widely regarded as one of the best 2K minds in the community.
Season 2 Team MVP: Sherm
If you want to see Dimez or PeteBeBallin here, you wouldn’t be faulted to think so, but Sherm was one of the best players in the entire league last season. He held opposing Point Guards to 27% shooting from 3-point range and forced close to five turnovers a game. There are only two or three other locks in the league who even got close to those kinds of numbers. As a result, Sherm cemented himself as one of the best defensive players in the league. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep him at lock this year though, since he’s also an extremely talented ball-handler and the league meta may shift that way this season.
Best Stat From Season 2: 51.6% 3-Point Shooting
Mavs Gaming proved just how lethal perimeter shooting can be. A big reason for their 2nd-half slip was due to the lack of 3-point shooting, a strange shift considering how good their shooting was to start the season.
Hornets Venom GT
- Acquired: Mo
- Traded Away: 2020 1st Round pick
No 1st Round pick for Mavs Gaming this year, they traded it to Hornets Venom GT to bring Mo back. Sleetys has a long history playing with Dimez in pro-am so they should have no problem fitting him into the starting lineup. Replacing Rux is easier said than done, though, as he’s a great defender and was a solid shooter out of the corner. Spartan is relatively unknown as a comp player, but word out of Dallas is that he’s an extremely talented player who is a good fit with the rest of the guys.
6th Man: Spartan
There isn’t too much to break down about this starting 5 if you watched Season 2, mostly because they plan on playing the exact same way. Pick-and-roll with Dimez and PeteBeBallin, Sherm leading the charge on defense, Mo knocking down 3s from the wing and now Sleetys taking over Rux’s role. The question we asked earlier very much applies to this section. Can you win a title with this core? We saw them at their best and worst last year, with the latter coming at inopportune times. It’s fair to wonder if this group has title-winning capabilities, but it may come from a stylistic change. The dual-ball handler meta figures to be prevalent this season, especially with the “BP build” being available at the 2-guard spot. Putting Sherm on that build and letting him play off of Dimez could change the entire face of this team and turn it into one of the deadliest backcourts in league history.
Season 3 Breakout Candidate: Dimez
Wait — how can Dimez be a breakout player? He was the No. 1 overall pick in Season 1 and delivered again last year. That’s a strong resume as is, but this year’s meta is built for a Dimez breakout. He averaged 16.7 PPG and 8.7 APG on 59% shooting last season, but I think he would even tell you that he can do more. Dimez has as much talent as any PG in the league and with the meta shaping up to be more about playmaking and scoring in the paint than perimeter shooting, it could be a massive season for him and Mavs Gaming. Having those scoring numbers jump to 20+ would change the entire ceiling for this Mavs Gaming team and if you toss Sherm into the mix as a secondary ball-handler, that could really open up some huge things for Dallas.
Season Outlook: What is their ceiling?
We saw this Mavs Gaming team dominate to start the season but go 2-4 over their last six games to finish off the regular season. That isn’t as worrying as the tournament issues, but this roster didn’t change too much from Season 2 to Season 3. If the roster didn’t change, then perhaps the play-style will. This team’s ceiling, as we stand now, is clearly a Playoff team that can be competitive in all tournaments. Do they have the elite ceiling of other title teams? That remains to be seen, but this is a talented team regardless of any “ceiling” talks. A few style changes could lift this team to the upper-tier of competition, but a good season should be expected for Dallas at a minimum.