DALSportsNation
Oddsmakers generally suggest the Mavericks will complete the season fighting for a lower playoff seed. Yet the start of the season has been promising for not only the club but also its newest star.

We’ve all seen first hand the absolute inflammatory nature of Kristaps Porzingis’ game. It’s hard to believe the former all-star is still adjusting to the gamespace. The common theme throughout the off-season was that KP is finally healthy. Through three games he’s averaging  26 ppg, 5 rpg and 2.7 bpg continuing an upward trend that began in the preseason. After an impressive 30 point output versus Portland, he’s optimistic about the Mavericks future.

It’s clear this club will be a problem for the entire league.  Kristaps just voiced the logic impatient MFFL’s don’t want but need to hear. Although he and the team are developing the early ROI is great.

The Mavericks have quality offensive depth to compliment KP however going head to head with top squads on the defensive end can be a liability at times. Porzingis’ player DNA addresses this uncertainty. In the first three games, the Mavs center has 8 total blocks, averaging 2.7 each contest. True, its early but similar figures propelled him to an all-star nomination. KP has always been a well respected defensive big man and he’s simply solidifying that narrative.

The Duo

This team has one of the best two-man games in the league. Luka and KP share a rare combination of efficient outside shooting and stat-stuffing productivity that leaves other teams green with envy.  Although it’s sure to change they are the only teammates to appear in the top ten in total points scored through three games. This duo is proving to be potent and its the genesis of the season.

Luka and KP are at the forefront of the NBA’s newfound parity and transition to position-less hoops. Quiet is kept Rick Carlisle is a pioneer in this category and the clubs position breakdown highlights this.

Play-by-Play Table
Posi Posi Posi Posi Posi
Rk Age G MP PG% SG% SF% PF% C%
1 Luka Dončić 20 3 109 42% 58%
2 Kristaps Porziņģis 24 3 93 100%
3 Dorian Finney-Smith 26 3 83 3% 84% 13%
4 Maxi Kleber 28 3 81 50% 50%
5 Jalen Brunson 23 3 80 100%
6 Delon Wright 27 3 76 63% 37%
7 Tim Hardaway 27 3 65 8% 91% 1%
8 Seth Curry 29 3 62 30% 45% 25%
9 Justin Jackson 24 3 50 34% 66%
10 Courtney Lee 34 2 22 100%
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2019.

 

Each player is seemingly playing out of position yet simultaneously creating mismatches the club can exploit. The pattern is stark once the breakdown is analyzed individually.

Portland Trail Blazers v Dallas Mavericks
DALLAS, TEXAS – OCTOBER 27: Kristaps Porzingis #6 of the Dallas Mavericks makes the alley-oop dunk against the Portland Trail Blazers. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Only Kristaps Porzingis (C), Jalen Brunson (PG), Tim Hardaway Jr. (SF) and Courtney Lee (SF) have played over 90% of their minutes in one position. This suggests the team has adopted a strategy of playing smaller and relying on quickness rather than force.

Keep in mind this mix doesn’t include Dwight Powell who recently made his season debut. His addition only means KP can explore and make plays on both ends of the court without feeling the burden of anchoring the paint. Powell will undoubtedly release some of those interior responsibilities which boost Porzingis’ potential productivity.

These custom made factors are ideal for Kristaps to succeed. There aren’t many seven-foot human beings capable of being quasi-guards at an NBA clip. This level of talent creates expectations that are tough to mitigate. KP deserves the opportunity to succeed and possibly fail on his terms as his rehab and sacrifice deserve respect.


The last time the Mavericks showcased two all-stars Justin Timberlake was bringing “SexyBack” (2006-07 Nowitzki & Howard), so clearly, the thirst to achieve is valid.
Preliminary production confirms Luka and more importantly, Kristaps is headed in the right direction. So at this point exercising patience while enjoying the journey is key because their just getting started.

 
Stats: www.basketball-reference.com
       www.nba.com
Video(s): MavsHighlights on Twitter
Photo: Robert Martinez/ Getty Images
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