Despite being one of the best offensive teams in the league, the team sorely struggled on defense last season. The team allowed 102.4 points per game, which was the 20th worst in the league. They also allowed teams to shoot 46.4% from the fields, 22nd in the league.
The team lost Vince Carter and Shawn Marion, but has added Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, and Al-Farouq Aminu this offseason. Jose Calderon‘s offense will be missed, but Jameer Nelson and Devin Harris could also help on the defensive end.
Will the Mavs defense be improved during the 2014-2015 season?
Bailey Rogers: I think so? Tyson is an upgrade over Dalembert. While Marion is admittedly a better one-on-one defender than Parsons, Parsons is younger, longer, and has potential. If Devin starts, that’s a clear defensive upgrade over Jose. If Felton starts, it is possibly an upgrade but definitely isn’t any worse. I think Greg Smith could be a huge factor in improving the defense of the Mavs’ bench. Whenever Dalembert went off the court last season, there was usually a gaping hole in the middle of the defense, whether it was Blair or Wright out there. Smith could really shore that up.
Ace Feltman: Yes. *Popovich Answer*
Winston Zhang: I’m gonna cop-out and say ‘I’ll wait and see’ for now, because it’s hard to tell whether Tyson can perform at the level he did in 2011, whether Parsons’ youth and length trumps Marion’s defensive IQ, whether Felton is the same, better or worse than Caldy was… etc. Too many question marks right now. And we’re not even considering the possible effects of Carlisle’s coaching. He did take a sub-par defense and almost stopped the Spurs with it. Who knows what he can do with the new team?
Sameer Moosa: In terms of frontcourt defense, Chandler will probably make us a lot better, especially since he’s been in the system before. However, perimeter defense will likely be a big issue this season. We lost Shawn Marion, who is probably the most underrated perimeter defender in the league, and we lost Vince Carter, who gave us size at the guard spot. Aminu will help replace Marion, but our four guard rotation is way too small, and none of them (Harris, Felton, Ellis, Nelson) are established defenders. It’s going to be tough to defend guards like Westbrook and harden.
Austin Ngaruiya: I think the Mavs will do just that: hold their own. Last year they were terribly defensively, because they simply did not have the personnel to compete on that end. Transition, pick and roll coverage, and rim protections were all problematic for the Mavs. Although the Mavs will lose Marion, I think their defense will improve from 22nd to about 13ish.
Tyson Chandler will fix many many problems on the defensive end. The Mavs were actually pretty good defensively when Dalembert played alert, but that was a rare occurrence. Tyson’s presence brings that effect for a full 82 games. Furthermore, the infusion of youth should drastically improve their transition defense. Having Dalembert, Dirk, and Jose on the floor at the same time parted a fast break layup line for opposing teams.
The insertion of Parsons and Aminu with added minutes from Crowder and Harris should improve the transition defense.