Ever since the trade for Kyrie Irving, the Dallas Mavericks have gone 5-7. Some key loses included a 27 point let down against the Los Angeles Lakers, a 2-point loss to the Indiana Pacers, and last minute defeat to the Phoenix Suns.
The philosophy around the Dallas Mavericks that they’re a one-dimensional squad who lives by the three and leans on their two all-stars. At times, it seems the Mavs biggest opponent is a reflection of themselves.
The Dallas Mavericks mismanagement at the center position has plagued them defensively for years.
However, the issue might be dated to a mistake they made 10 plus years ago. You see, after the 2011 championship run Dallas let Tyson Chandler, their one true big man walk in free agency. Then, in 2014 the team traded to bring him back, only to let him walk once again.
When Chandler first walked in 2011, Dallas struggled to find a center replacement as their group of starting centers consisted of Brendan Haywood (a player who averaged six rebounds), Chris Kaman (a player past his prime), and Samuel Dalembert (nothing to say here).
After his second stint, Dallas again cycled through big men like Zaza Pachulia, Andrew Bogut, and Nerlens Noel. All came and all went. Oh and who could forget DeAndre Jordan, someone I’m sure most Mavs’ fans want to put in the rearview mirror.
Since 2018 though, Marc Cuban and company have relied on Dwight Powell to be that next man up – Something Powell has yet to accomplish. In nine seasons with the team, the 6’10 center has struggled to be that man the team needs, as he has yet to averaged more than 5 rebounds,
This is where the Chandler ghost comes into play. Since 2011, the team has yet to find a true big man, something that haunts the team to this day.
Go back and look at the game against the Pelicans. One of the reasons Dallas lost was not because of the absence of Luka Doncic, but rather their positioning down low. Against NOLA, the Mavs were outrebounded 49-34, with the Pelicans also logging more blocks and points in the paint.
There are other instances where the team failed to win down low. Last week against the Phoenix Suns, Deandre Ayton pulled down 16 rebounds, as his team won the glass battle by 10.
You guys get the idea by now. Dallas must solve this issue if they hope to be more competitive. Irving and Doncic will not be big enough to guard the likes of players Nikola Jokic, Domantas Sabonis, or Anthony Davis.
It was assumed that Christian Wood and JaVale McGee would solve this lingering issue, but both players have failed to live up to expectations. Wood hasn’t had a double-digit rebounding game since January 15, and McGee has basically become nonexistent.
No one will admit it, but the ghost of past mistakes is finally catching up to the Dallas Mavericks once again.
Luka has an extra all-star next to him, now the next step is getting him a true big man down low. Nico Harrison, work your magic.