The combination of Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell in the Dallas Mavericks frontcourt together is fairly dynamic one but one major deficiency remains…
The Dallas Mavericks have effectively finalized their roster. It’s the begining of August and all noteworthy transactions have been made. We’ll see tweaks throughout the 2019-20 season, but for the most part, we know who the Mavs are this season.
From here we can draw conclusions regarding the lineup. Obviously we know Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic will be starting, but beyond that, it’s likely to be a fluid situation in the starting lineup. Based on some comments and the roster itself, we can conclude KP and Dwight Powell will start together more often than not this upcoming season.
While many MFFL grimace at the idea of more Powell, giving him more minutes with the starting lineup makes sense. Powell may be a tragically poor 3-point shooter (at least early every season) but he’s a great finisher and generally a good complement to KP.
Last season we saw Powell thrive on the second unit with J.J. Barea as they both used their speed and athleticism to carry the Mavs in those earlier months. But with Barea on the mend from a torn achilles, and Powell now locked in long-term, it makes perfect sense to build chemistry on the first team with the Dallas Mavericks top distributor, Luka Doncic.
From a development perspective, it makes sense Powell is in the starting lineup. By playing heavy minutes together now, the Luka-Powell tandem will fast track their chemistry – hopefully paying dividends in the future.
Last season, Powell averaged 1.33 points as the roll man on pick-and-rolls. This places him in the 90th percentile and at the top of the NBA. With Seth Curry spacing the floor as a legitimate shooter, opportunities will be everywhere for the Mavs next season.
Matching him with Porzingis makes for a pretty attractive pairing as well. KP can hit just about any shot on the court. He can stretch and shoot deep. He can post up with the best of ‘em. He can pop that mid-range shot. And he can take it to the basket. The only thing that’s fallen under question is his part in the pick-and-roll. And as we just discussed, Powell is a weapon in that role.
The thing that hurts the Mavs by rolling out a Porzingis-Powell pairing is on the boards. Neither of these players are considered very “girthy”. And both have typically fallen short in the rebound column throughout their respective careers.
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Powell last averaged 8.9 boards per 36 minutes while Porzingis averaged 7.3. Not exactly what you expect from your 6’11” and 7’3” frontcourt…
The Mavs struggled already last season in the rebound department. And that was with the rebound-hungry DeAndre Jordan playing half the season with them. Without their only elite rebounder, the Mavs may be in trouble with second chance points (on both ends of the court).
The good news is the Dallas Mavericks traded and signed Delon Wright. The 6’5” guard averaged a respectable 6.3 rebounds per 36 with Memphis last year and paired with Luka, gives the Mavs a big advantage in their backcourt rebounding.
The tipping point will likely come at the fifth and final starting spot. If Dorian Finney-Smith (7.1 per 36) gets the starting nod at SF, then the Mavs have chance at winning the rebounding war. But if Seth Curry (6’2”) or Tim Hardaway Jr (a tall but disinterested rebounder) get the start – thus becoming the second guard and pushing Luka to a point-forward spot – then Dallas will get killed in rebounding differential.
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Looking at the roster, Dallas doesn’t have a ton of options that make sense AND solve the rebounding problem. Dwight Powell and KP make sense together for a variety of reasons but the rebounding situation is a concerning one.
- Published on 08/08/2019 at 11:00 AM
- Last updated at 08/08/2019 at 06:27 AM