Dallas Mavericks start 5-3: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /
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dallas mavericks
Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Mavericks

The Bad: The Frontcourt Depth

The thing with having little roster turnover the last three years is that you’ll likely run into the same problems that you’ve had the previous two years. Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber are currently out with injuries and the Mavericks now have absolutely no rim protection. I’m not sure what the point of trading for Moses Brown is if the team continues to trot out only Dwight Powell, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Boban Marjanovic?

In theory, these three are playing off the rim protection ability of other big men. Unsurprisingly, both big men that provide the rim protection stability are on the bench nursing injuries. How has the coaching staff not adjusted to this yet?

There isn’t a single player outside of Porzingis and Kleber who averages a block per game leaving the interior open for poor shot contests from Powell, Marjanovic, and Cauley-Stein. The Mavericks have gotten better defensively this season, but most of those strides have come on the perimeter. They are allowing 35.5 percent from three, which is eigth best in the league, but allowing 51.6 percent from inside the arc, good for 13th worst in the league.

The team needs to be creative on how to fix this issue, again, because it’s back and as Dallas faces better teams the inability to stop points near the rim will definitely hurt them. In fact, in the three games the Mavericks have lost this year, the team has allowed offensive ratings of 151 (Clint Capela), 146 (John Collins), 144 (Jimmy Butler), and 137 (Nikola Jokic) to players who take fewer than 33 percent of their shots of three.

It’s hard to be creative with rim protection when fans are fully aware of what this group of big men can do, so hopefully the Mavericks start playing Moses Brown more or just trade for a better rim protector. At some point this team needs to take it seriously because the Los Angeles Clippers clawed their way back into last playoff series by going small proceeding to cause all types of problems in the interior for Dallas. If it happened once, it’ll likely happen again.