Last season, the Dallas Mavericks advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011. A huge part of their postseason success was coach Jason Kidd’s three-guard lineup.
In the playoffs, Kidd used a small-ball lineup centered around Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jalen Brunson to overcome Dallas’ lack of scoring.
In game 6 against the Utah Jazz, the Mavs displayed a group consisting of the three guards above, along with Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock. Down 53-41 at halftime, the new lineup played a pivotal in the team’s comeback, as they scored 68 of the team’s 98 points.
But with the additions of Christian Wood, and JaVale McGee the Mavs’ lineup could be different this time around.
"“When Kidd was an assistant on the championship-winning Lakers, that team favored two-big lineups and size,” Cato said. “McGee is signed, and Wood is set to come off the bench. What’s most interesting to me is how much Kidd leans on the stylistic choices he favored two years ago and whether it can amplify a talented roster.”"
Against the Golden State Warriors, the Mavs’ rebounding woes were deeply exposed, as the team got outrebounded 234-177. Doncic led the way with 46 rebounds, but aside from that, no other player could get more than 30 rebounds the entire series.
This could all change though with Wood and McGee in the mix.
Last season, Wood averaged 10.1 rebounds. During the first two months of the season, he averaged 11.7 rebounds, six boards higher than any player, not nanamedoncic.
Assuming Wood can maintain his double-double status from last season, his presence could benefit Dallas in a variety of ways.
As for McGee, he will be a viable upgrade. In 74 games, the former Suns’ big man averaged 6.7 rebounds in just 15.8 minutes, with April being his best month as he tallied 8.3 rebounds in 19.3 minutes.
With McGee starting and Wood coming off the bench, Dallas should have two reliable big men. Not to mention, the team also has Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber as reliable options.
If both players can help the team continue their defensive success from last season, then the Mavs should see this off-season as a major upgrade.
Now all Dallas will need to do is hope the two big men can also fix their rebounding struggles and rim protection. Assuming this is the case, the Mavs have a high probability of getting over their postseason humps.