Dallas Maverick: Rick Carlisle’s inability to develop Big-Men

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

One of the biggest challenges the Dallas Mavericks have faced is having a dominant big-man.

With the absence of forward Dwight Powell and center Willie Cauley-Stein, the Dallas Mavericks have struggled down in the paint. During the season, both players were averaging 5.75 rebounds a game. While it may not seem like much, having that physical presence down low has been an issue. Players like Maxi Kleber, Boban Marjanovic and Kristaps Porzingis have been left to fill the void. To make matters worse, Porzingis has struggled to stay healthy during the playoffs.

One key issue that Dallas has faced is the amount of points in the paint. Just look back at Game one against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Mavs were outscored in the point 46-36. To make matters worse, the trend continued in game 3 where the Clippers had 12 more points in the paint than Dallas. This same issue has been a common occurrence for decades now.

Who is to blame for Dallas’s struggles in the paint?

You can say that the double departure of Tyson Chandler has caused a storm down low for the Mavericks. While Chandler was great for the Mavs, he was not their long-term solution. Under Coach Carlisle, big men have not blossomed well.

Before the arrival of Chandler, Erick Dampier was the center for Dallas. While Dampier may not have found huge success in Dallas, he was a minor contributor to their 2006 Finals run. During the 2005-2006 season, Dampier averaged 9.2 points per game and 3.3 offensive rebounds. Under his first season with Coach Carlisle, the veteran center averaged a mere 6.1 points per game and just 2.9 offensive rebounds. Although his rebounds per game stay consistent, his dominance down low dropped.

Dampier was not the only center to struggled under Dallas’s playbook. Center Javale McGee struggled in his one season with Dallas. Before coming to Dallas, McGee had mediocre success with the Washington Wizards and Denver Nuggets. With the Wizards, the seven-foot center averaged 8.5 points per game to go with six rebounds. Even in Denver McGee was able to contain the same level of points and rebounds. With Dallas, the current Los Angeles Laker averaged just 5.1 points game and 3.9 rebounds. While McGee’s minutes per game were low, he has shown to produce when given the time. (Just ask the the Los Angeles Lakers how that is currently working out.)

Can you blame Carlisle?

When you think of dominant power-forwards and centers, the Dallas Mavericks have not crossed many minds. The one true powerful player Dallas has had down low, walked away twice. Aside from Tyson Chandler, the Mavericks have struck out when it comes to finding that dominating presence.

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Under the leadership of Coach Carlisle, the Mavs have seen names like Chris Kaman, Amar’e Stoudemire, Elton Brand and Juwan Howard. All these players came to Dallas way past the end of their prime. Their time in Dallas was limited in terms of time and production. Along old veterans, Carlisle also had other players like Samuel Dalembert, Zaza Pachulia and Drew Gooden who had mediocre success before coming to Dallas. While none of these players were household names, Deandre Jordan was.

Jordan’s accomplishments included making the All-Star game in 2017, leading the league in rebounds during the 2014 and 2015 season, while also being named on the All-NBA First Team in 2016. During his time with Dallas, Jordan was averaging a near double-double with 11 points per game and 13 rebounds. Numbers wise, Jordan’s season looked a bit better than Chandler’s time.

While Porzingis has proven to be worth the trade, the wonders of keeping Deandre Jordan still linger in Dallas. A healthy Jordan vs. the Clippers Ivica Zubac would sure be in Dallas’s favor.

Next. What if the Dallas Mavericks met LeBron again in the Playoffs?. dark

With the future bright in Dallas, the absence of a dominant big-man down low could haunt the Mavs. The Mavericks have had their share of All-Star centers, but their time in Dallas was limited. If Carlisle is given a true force in the paint, than maybe Dallas can finally get over the hump of not having a true presence down low.

  • Published on 08/27/2020 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/27/2020 at 07:25 AM