With such a deep roster and Rick Carlisle leading from the sidelines, the Dallas Mavericks could throw out plenty of different lineups.
Each staff member will attempt to create the perfect lineup and rotation, as we’ll be releasing each lineup throughout the weekend.
The Fantastic Four
Harris Vs. Wright
Harris should get the most minutes as 6th man. His versatility gives the Mavs options to plug him in either the PG or SG spot (based on match-up) and still get production. Additionally, his dynamic, off-the-bench play making will provide the JET/VC-like spark that Mav fans have become accustomed to in previous seasons. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Wright ends up logging the most 6th men minutes strictly based on necessity. With the return of Tyson Chandler, opposition tendency may be to drive the paint early to place the big guy in early foul trouble. If Tyson gets caught up in this situation place my bet on Wright for more minutes.
Key Rotation Players
Al-Farouq Aminu and Raymond Felton
Surprisingly, Aminu was the best rebounding small forward in the NBA last season – for players who logged at least 500 minutes. While his scoring averages are clearly below those of most starting forwards in the league his upside is to facilitate in the other tangibles. As a premier glass cleaner, Aminu will be a heavy part of the rotation throughout the regular season.
Felton is already digging out of a deep hole. A preseason injury (high ankle sprain) has sidelined him for a majority of the preseason. In fact, Felton logged a total 13 minutes and 51 seconds in two preseason games (12 minutes & 23 seconds of which came in game 1 against the Rockets). Oh, and don’t forget about that 4 game regular season suspension that he still has to serve. Obviously, Felton provides value at the guard position and will be the final pin in a Carlisle “small-ball,” three guard rotations that will also include Harris and Ellis. Once he’s available expect to see him find a constant spot in the rotation, especially when Carlisle wants to go small. In the meantime, don’t expect to see him anytime soon. As CBSSports points out, if he doesn’t see any more preseason action the earliest we’ll see him is Nov. 6th at Portland.
Yes, I’m going there. And I’d go there again. Call it my bold prediction of the year. If the 100 free-throw marathon of game 1 of the preseason is an indicator, we can expect foul trouble and PLENTY of it. My prediction is the majority of that foul trouble will come at the center position between the main rotation of Chandler & Wright. If it gets that far Carlisle will have to dial up 9-1-1 and James might just be the operator. Expect it. It will happen.