Coming into this series, there was doubt the Dallas Mavericks could compete with the San Antonio Spurs. After game one, doubt of their ability to compete diminished, but another question rose — what do they do at the point guard spot?
No one on the Mavericks will be able to stop Tony Parker, who finished with 21 points, and is one of the top point guards in the league. With Shawn Marion having the first crack on him, it was evident that coach Rick Carlisle knew that Jose Calderon had no shot of slowing him down.
It’s no surprise that Calderon is a bad defender; he was after all, brought in for what he does on the offensive side of the court. Problem is, what do you do when he’s a non factor on that side of the ball? He finished with just 7 points on 3-9 shooting and was a huge part of the Mavericks scoring just 12 points in the first quarter.
His backup, Devin Harris, was one of the few bright spots on offense. He had a team-high 19 points (8-16 fg) and 5 assists. Also was the key igniter to get the offense rolling after the ugly start and getting them back into the game.
Harris’s strong play coinciding with a poor showing from Calderon raises the question, should the Mavericks make a change at the point guard spot?
Should the Mavericks start Harris and have Calderon come off the bench? Should Calderon be completely taken out of the rotation? Should rookie Shane Larkin get some time? How about allowing shooting guard Monta Ellis to handle the backup point guard duties and giving Jae Crowder and Wayne Ellington time at shooting guard?
No denying Carlisle will do what’s best for his team to leave with a victory, but will it involve the same lineup we’ve become accustomed to?
Will he be willing to completely bench a player that is inked for another three-years? Especially after bringing him in to lock up the point guard spot? Would he trust a rookie against the Spurs?
Plenty of questions surround this dilemma. But a strong showing from Calderon in game two can and probably will keep his starting spot safe.