Dallas Mavericks: Rick Carlisle and Kristaps Porzingis should go if…

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Fresh on the heels of another first round exit in the NBA Playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks face tough decisions this summer. Despite having having one of the very best players in the league in Luka Doncic, the cupboards are bare and the team ill-equipped to take the next step.

While fans are grateful for what the Mavericks were able to accomplish amidst all the COVID related struggles this year, choking a 2-0 series lead and failing to win a single home game, when Dallas firmly had LA on the ropes, is unforgiveable.

Also unforgivable: Playing heavy zone defense against one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA and the second best player on the team only averaging 13 points per game.

Rick Carlisle and Kristaps Porzingis are not standing on firm ground anymore with the Dallas Mavericks.

Both coach and player must be seen as replaceable at this point. They don’t have to go, but the option has to be considered.

The Dallas Mavericks defied odd by losing their series with the Clippers. They were up 2-0 and had a lead and grip on momentum midway through Game 3. Their defensive effort and strategy were suspect and eventually LA just shot their way out of the hole while Dallas shot their way into one.

we’re probably another year away from wholesale changes on the Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks needed their second star to get involved but made little to no effort to do so. Both Carlisle and KP have blame in that item.

After all, it’s not like Porzingis was playing great ball. He could have forced Carlisle’s hand with consistently strong play at any point this season, but after missing 29 games throughout, those moments of dominance were few and far between.

Even the biggest KP detractor was probably surprised that KP averaged only 13-points per game this series. He was a floor spacer and decoy the vast majority of the time. That’s not the role you pay a guy 100M to do.

The blame falls on both player and coach here but that doesn’t mean one or even both of them has to go. Carlisle is a brilliant NBA mind who runs a flow offensive system that perfectly fits Luka Doncic’s skills. KP is a 25-year-old All-Star who seems willing to adapt his game to fit alongside Luka. And historically, we’ve seen Luka and KP fit well together, just not lately.

So who has to go and under what conditions?

It’s pretty simple – don’t consider moving on from either until you have a better option available to you.

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Rick Carlisle may be a problem at this point in Dallas. He’s helped Donnie Nelson build an underwhelming roster and he runs a system that seems to get underwhelming results. If it wasn’t for Luka, this team would be absolutely terrible.

If a decent coaching option comes up (or a better GM candidate arises), he has to be considered.

Same goes for KP. KP is too young and too good to dump for nothing. A better option has to become available. KP’s value right now isn’t great. He’s due $100 over the next three years. No one wants any part of that. Trading him now would return pennies on the dollar.

The way things look now is the Dallas Mavericks need make changes elsewhere. They need to add other pieces to the equation and build a better team. In other words, we’re probably another year away from wholesale changes on the Dallas Mavericks.

"“It’d be great to find a rugged defender who was a dead-eye shooter and could make some simple plays,” Carlisle said."

Mark Cuban loves his guys and he’s not eager to give up on anyone before he’s absolutely convinced he has to. He’s probably going to take Rick’s advice and empower Donnie to hit the market with his shopping list.

What he has to do is find a way to get more out of KP. Porzingis is pretty worthless as things stand now. They need to give him a defined role, communicate said role, and let him build up his value again. Either he becomes a key component on this team or he becomes a tradeable commodity. Either way, it’s a option forward (which is better than what we have now).

Both guys should stay with the Dallas Mavericks until a better option becomes available. I’m not sure better options exist right now.

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What say you? Who are you dumping and how are you replacing them?

  • Published on 06/08/2021 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 06/08/2021 at 13:39 PM