As of late, the Dallas Mavericks have have experienced mediocre success, at best. With average success occurring, the questions remains: Should a change be made in the team’s starting lineup?
Over the past five games the Mavericks have gone two and three, meaning they have only won two games. The two wins came against a Milwaukee Bucks team without Giannis and Wednesday night’s buzzer beater against the Grizzlies.
The three loses occurred against a depleted Houston Rockets team, the underachieving Spurs and the beast of the East Philadelphia 76ers.
One of their biggest struggles has been Dallas’ inability to outshoot their opponents. Against Houston, the team shot 37.9 percent. Besides Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, no one else in the starting lineup had double digit points. Richardson went zero for six that night.
The future remains unclear, but at the moment it is too early for the Mavs to panic.
That hasn’t been the only issue, against Philadelphia, Dorian Finney-Smith was the only teammate in the starting squad to have more than 10 rebounds. While KP did not play that game, Power Forward Maxi Kleber had just two rebounds the entire game.
It seems as though every game the team has lost, there has been at least one player in the staring lineup who has struggled in one aspect or another.
Should changes be made to the Dallas Mavericks the starting lineup?
The clear cut answer is a complicated one: While the future remains unclear, at the moment it is too early to panic.
If you look back at the three loses, one player in the starting unit was absent in some form or fashion. Against the 76ers, Porzingis was out. Against the Rockets & Spurs, Kleber was absent.
While that is no excuse, the team has struggled to find a third player to lead behind their two current all-stars.
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As a starter this season, Hardaway Jr. has averaged around 16.8 points per game. The Mavs’ guard has shown positive signs this season when in the lineup. I mean the only reason he was removed from the lineup was because Coach Rick Carlisle wanted to focus on a more defensive approach. So could the coach take a chance on him again? I believe so, if the offense continue to struggle I could see Carlisle leaning toward Hardaway Jr. as an extra offensive spark. However, that still remains a big if.
Another player player who “could” see some starting minutes is point guard Jalen Brunson. As a starter this year, Brunson is averaging 17.1 points per game to go along with 4 assists. His ability to take ball pressure off Doncic has shown to be valuable at times. The biggest concern might be the team’s transition to a small ball lineup. If you ask me, I don’t see Brunson being a legitimate starter. Unless Luka or Josh Richardson struggle, I do not foresee any drastic changes.
As mentioned the issue of the starting lineup seems consistent for now. Yes there are some small lingering issues, but the team has the ability to win with the players at hand. Only time will tell.