Mavericks: 3 burning questions ahead of NBA resumption

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr
NBA Analysis Network
Mavericks, Dorian Finney-Smith
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Is The Defense Good Enough?

It’s clear the Dallas Mavericks have an impressive offense that features no shortage of reliable jump shooting options. While making shots in the playoffs is obviously important for any team, perhaps for the Mavs, the ability to defend well enough will be more vital.

From a pure production standpoint, the Mavericks faired around average in many overview defensive measures. For reference, they allowed 0.987 points per possession (16th) and ranked within the top 10 in efficiency in one play type that occurred at least 5.0% of the time.

The rim protection Kristaps Porzingis provides helps to clean up miscues and general deficiencies of on-ball defenders to an extent. However, the Mavericks will need to figure out who is capable of slowing down elite wing players like Kawhi Leonard or a dynamic guard like James Harden in a playoff series.

The Mavericks’ best options against high-level wing players appear to be Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, but is that enough? There is a much bleaker outlook for Dallas when it comes down to slowing down an elite guard, but Delon Wright probably is best suited.

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