Last season, the Dallas Mavericks’ bench experienced a bit of a roller coaster. At the beginning of the season, Jalen Brunson was the team’s leading sixth man. Fast forward a couple of months, and Reggie Bullock was that guy. However once Kristaps Porzingis was traded, Dallas struggled to find that main resource.
The biggest hurdle was trying to replace the Tim Hardaway Jr. His absence forced other players to step up.
At times, Josh Green lead the way, and in others, Maxi Kleber took initiative. In the playoffs, Spencer Dinwiddie took charge, as he averaged 14.2 points, But, with Dinwiddie being inserted into the starting lineup this season, things will look different this time around.
Looking at the Dallas Mavericks bench this season…
So what makes this season’s bench different than before?
For starters, Dallas will have a former starter coming off their side of the table.
One man fans will be zeroing in on is Christian Wood. As a starter last season, Wood averaged 17.9 points and 10.1 rebounds. During the final month, he had his best performance shooting 59 percent while averaging 19.6 points and 9.8 rebounds.
In Wednesday nights preseason game, Wood dropped in 16 points and 13 rebounds in his first stint with the team.
Assuming his numbers continue to rise, Wood will be a big asset off the bench.
Oh, and who can forget Hardaway? The team’s former third leading scorer hopes to get back on track this season, as he returns from a gruesome foot injury. Two years ago, he was averaging 16.6 points, while shooting 39 percent from the 3-point line.
Other reliable role players will include Kleber who shot lights out in the playoffs, and Dwight Powell who started in 86.5 percent of Dallas games last season.
Green and Frank Ntilikina will also have a lot to prove to season, as they hope to take drastic slides this year.
One player who showed up in the team’s first preseason game: Jaden Hardy. The Mavs’ rookie scored 21 points, on 50 percent shooting.
Assuming the teams progress continues, and the team stays healthy, then there is no reason why Dallas can’t have a top bench presence this season.