A new NBA season is just about here, and Mavericks' guard Luka Doncic can't wait to put the ball through the hoop.
"It's a new era here," the 2018 NBA Rookie of the Year said.
A new era with two new faces of the franchise. Kristaps Porzingis joined forces with Doncic and will finally get a chance to suit up in a real game after his lengthy recovery from a knee injury. His excitement was evident at the team's tipoff luncheon Monday.
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"I think it's going to be a special moment," Porzingis said. "I've been out for a very long time. I miss the game a lot. I just want to put that uniform back on and just go out there and enjoy the game again."
Head coach Rick Carlisle said he hoped to watch a lot of good plays this season. He also said he wanted to see his players fired up from the moment they take the court.
"You got to go into the game with force," Carlisle said. "You cannot ease into NBA games. You're not going to win an NBA game in the first 6 minutes. But you could lose it if you don't show up the right way."
And that's no way for this team to reach one of its biggest goals this season.
"One of our goals is to become a playoff team after a three-year hiatus," Carlisle said. "But we're very much more focused on the process than any particular long-term goals. It's an NBA season and that's how you got to approach it."
The first step in the process comes Wednesday night against the Washington Wizards.