If the Dallas Mavericks taught us anything in their season opening win against the Washington Wizards it’s their committee approach in filling the No. 3 scorer is going to work.
While Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis dominate the coverage in Dallas these days, the talk of the summer has largely revolved the third star. Or shall I say, the lack thereof. After striking out in free agency the Dallas Mavericks opted for a 3rd star by committee approach. And on Wednesday’s opener, we got to see how it worked.
Luka Doncic (36 min), Dorian Finney-Smith (32 min) and Kristaps Porzingis (29 min) not-so-surprisingly dominated the court time on Wednesday. But behind them the minutes were fairly evenly divided. Jalen Brunson , Maxi Kleber, Delon Wright, Tim Hardaway, Seth Curry, and Justin Jackson all tallied between 19-24 minutes. And like their minutes, their scoring contributions were evenly divided as well.
Luka and KP obviously led the way with 57 combined points, but after them the No. 3 weapon varied from play to play. Sometimes it was Justin Jackson. Sometimes Jalen Brunson. Seth Curry was looked at often. As was DFS. Tim Hardaway Jr put his share of shots (sadly). But for the most part, the third scorer was ever changing and hard to predict.
If it wasn’t clear already, it is now. Rick Carlisle plans to take a committee approach to scoring behind his top two stars. Hardaway and Brunson put up the most attempts and it stands to reason they’ll be the most likely candidates to be the No. 3 scorers this season. But even that’s going to be an unstable result.
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We’re sure to see games where Maxi Kleber explodes (so to speak) and his zero points on Wednesday were more aberration than indicator of things to come. As the best pure shooter of the lot, Seth Curry is going to have his share of games where he’s the 3rd scorer.
Wednesday’s game was a great example of what we’re sure to see this season. The lineup will remain fluid based on match-ups and scoring will fall on a different player each night. Heck, it’ll change play to play.
While it’s unsettling to go without a clear No. 3 scoring option, a case can be made it’s the best way to go. Not only are the Dallas Mavericks dividing duties and diversifying risk (an injury to a clear No. 3 scorer would be disastrous but an injury to one cog within a committee is manageable), but they’re leaning on their strength, Rick Carlisle, to exploit match-ups and expose opponent weaknesses.
Teams are moving away from the 3-star approach because it often means filling out the roster with sub-par role players. The Mavs may be young and unproven but they’re deep in talent and have about half-a-dozen players who could be the No. 3 scorer on any given night.
- Published on 10/24/2019 at 12:45 PM
- Last updated at 10/24/2019 at 12:45 PM