Justin Jackson has been stellar for the Dallas Mavericks this preseason and may have proven himself as a viable starting option this season
After falling to 0-3 in the preseason the Dallas Mavericks may not be off to the start they hoped for. However one of the bright spots of the early season has been the play of Justin Jackson. Jackson has been the most consistent Mav not named Kristaps Porzingis so far in the preseason.
Jackson who was already known to be a good three point shooter, has really worked on his floater game. The addition of a “big man killer” is exactly what a shooter playing with Luka Doncic needs.
Jackson being able to pump fake off of the pass and finish inside will add another much needed wrinkle to the Dallas Mavericks offense. The fact that defenders have to close out on Jackson should make the up fake deadly. Using the move to get defenders in the air to draw the foul is the next addition I’d like to see Jackson add to his game.
Is the emergence of Justin Jackson the reason for Dorian Finney-Smith‘s move to the Five?
Coach Rick Carlisle said during media day that Finney-Smith would spend time at center this season. A move that I’m not completely sold on. It looks good when the Mavs run an all around big line up. Don’t get me wrong Dorian is a good defender.
The issue is team rebounding when Finney-Smith is at the five. The Mavericks already struggle with rebounding, and giving up second chance points has been a problem for the Mavs for years. I think playing Dorian at the center is Rick Carlisle’s way of replacing minutes for Finney-Smith that will be taken by Jackson.
Jackson is a better fit as a starter than Tim Hardaway Jr.
Justin Jackson, at 24 years old, also fits the timeline for the Mavs. I hope that Dallas Mavericks fans understand that the rebuilding isn’t over. The Mavericks are still a few years away from being a real contender for a championship. Justin Jackson should be given the opportunity to grow into his role on the team.
Tim Hardaway Jr. is probably Jackson’s main competition for the starting small forward spot. While Hardaway Jr. is able to score at a near elite level, his shot selection leaves a lot to be desired. Tim is an upgrade on offense from Wesley Mathews but the similarities are obvious.
Both guys can light you up when their shots are falling, but struggle with consistency. The two also try to shoot their ways out of slumps, which more often than not leads to them taking shots outside the flow of the offense.
Because of his age and shot selection I don’t see Hardaway Jr. being the starter for years to come. Why not let Jackson take the starting small forward spot now so that he can learn his role alongside Luka and KP? The Mavericks could also benefit from having Hardaway Jr.’s size and scoring on a second unit that will include Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry two smaller guards.
Among the teams that will be fighting to become contenders in the future, The Mavericks have a bit of an advantage having Luka KP Rick Carlisle and a stable front office to build around. However the Dallas Mavericks are realistically still a few years away from being in title contention, and should be focused more on the future than winning now.
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Justin Jackson will play a big part in helping the Mavericks reach their full potential. Why not let him learn his role while expectations are low? Jackson has a unique blend of size and ability. The addition of an extremely consistent floater over the summer also shows he’s willing to develop his game. Playing starter minutes will help Jackson become more comfortable and crafty as an offensive player. Justin being 6’8″ also gives the Mavs a long at athletic guy on the wing to make up for Luka’s defensive shortcomings.
My starting line up prediction for the 2020 Dallas Mavericks season opener.
- Published on 10/14/2019 at 11:05 AM
- Last updated at 10/14/2019 at 11:07 AM