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.
Jameer Nelson – Monta Ellis – Chandler Parsons – Dirk Nowitzki – Tyson Chandler
The 2011 championship team had a 6th man (JET), the past couple teams had VC, I don’t see a distinct 6th Man on this team. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If i need to pick two…
Devin Harris & Al-Farouq Aminu
Two guys who are working hard on their three point shot, and still, you would rather them shoot it anywhere but behind the circular stripe. However, the energy and defense is unmatchable. I know what Devin Harris is capable of and he seems to be getting better with age as he’s found a permanent home, his original home. Aminu has been my preseason MVP. The numbers aren’t preseason MVP worthy, Richard Jefferson could take that, but Al-Farouq’s touch around the basket has surprised me and made me really, really excited to add to all the intangibles he excels at.
Key Rotation guys
I’m a sucker for depth, and the Mavericks have it in spades. We’re now 10 deep and have yet to mention Raymond Felton, Jae Crowder or Charlie Villanueva assuming he does indeed grab the last active player roster spot. Richard Jefferson will be a versatile 2-3 option who can knock down the long ball but has shown that he’s still got a surprising amount of attacking the basket left in him at 34.
Greg Smith is our new Dejuan Blair strategically, however Greg Smith is more effective defensively and physically more imposing simply because he’s about five inches taller. Smith may not be as offensively skilled as Blair, but Smith is still a lot more talented scoring the basketball than many, many bigs in the league. That’s an attribute I love and never get tired of experiencing, especially after years of guys like Bradley, Diop, Haywood and Dampier.
Then there’s Brandan Wright, who has the softest touch around the basket of all these names mentioned and shot 68% from the field last season, which would have led the league if he had enough attempts to qualify. B-Wright’s struggles are to rebound and defend bigger and stronger opponents, something he had to do with Blair and him sharing the court, something he won’t while Greg Smith is on the court, and I’m excited by that fact and intrigued by the pairing.
Jae Crowder has had a really good training camp/preseason. To say great would be to adjust that shooting percentage from long distance. That’s never been Jae Crowder’s game but he’s working on it. He lost weight this offseason and worked hard as he ever has with all the incoming competition for playing time. I’m excited about Jae’s aspirations and potential in his third NBA season, but I still wouldn’t trust him with a heavy workload like the roster forced Dallas to the past two seasons.E