Mavericks Poised to be Great Three-Point Shooting Team


The Dallas Mavericks set to be extremely dangerous from outside

The Dallas Mavericks’ shot at real contention next season probably went out the window with DeAndre Jordan‘s decision to stay with the Los Angeles Clippers, but Mark Cuban, Donnie Nelson and staff have created for themselves an opportunity to stay in games by assembling what will be a very formidable outside shooting team.

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Dallas was a pretty good three-point shooting team in 2014-15, which helped them eclipse the 50-win mark for the first time since their championship-winning season in 2010-11 despite some very real problems defensively and on the glass.

The Mavericks made the seventh most three-pointers in the league even with Rajon Rondo and Monta Ellis hitting just 100 between them in 126 combined games, and their 35.2% shooting as a team placed them just outside the top-10.

Exit Rondo and Ellis, enter Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews. Williams has certainly had problems from the field overall since leaving Utah – 41.8% in New Jersey/Brooklyn – but he’s been able to remain an above average shooter from behind the arc. In fact, his 35.8% accuracy with the Nets is identical to that in his six seasons with the Jazz.

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Williams made 87 three-pointers in 68 games this past season, connecting at a rate of 37.6%. And he figures to be a much better fit in Dallas than he was in Brooklyn’s stagnant, isolation-heavy offense.

Though a lot of that can be traced back to Williams and his penchant for over-dribbling himself, Rick Carlisle‘s spaced out, pick-and-roll, drive and kick scheme lends itself to Williams’ skill set and he won’t be the space-killing presence Rondo was on the weak side of the floor.

The Dallas-native shot 42.2% on catch-and-shoot three-pointers last season for the Nets, and though he isn’t the finisher in the lane he once was, Williams is still able to break defenders down off the dribble, penetrate, and find shooters on the perimeter.

He’ll have a great one in Matthews, who made 173 three-pointers – 38.9% – in just 60 games before suffering a ruptured achilles tendon against his new team. That total was good for ninth best in the league and his 2.9 made per game was tied with Kyle Korver for third-most.

Matthews doesn’t create for himself or others much off the dribble – 55% of his field goal attempts went up with him taking a single dribble and he’s averaged just 2.1 assists per game for his career – but like Williams he’s a great shooter off the catch.

He’s basically the anti-Monta Ellis but Chandler Parsons is set to fill that playmaker role for the Mavericks next season and having a guy like Matthews spotting up around the arc will open things up for everyone.

Speaking of Parsons, he’s a dangerous, if streaky, outside shooter as well. Parsons missed some time to injury last season too, but still managed to hit 132 three-pointers – 27th in the league – at a 38% clip.

He won’t be spotting up as often as he did last season – 38.4% on those three-pointers – but that’s by design and though he shot a good percentage he’s actually better pulling up – 41.2%.

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  • Then there’s Dirk Nowitzki, who made over 100 three-pointers for the second straight season and the 7th time for his career. He shot 38% from deep despite a sluggish start to the season and shot 46.5% to finish up the season in March and April.

    That’s four starters who hit at least 87 three-pointers in 2014-15, but the Mavericks have more shooting coming off the bench.

    Devin Harris made 95 three-pointers last year while shooting a respectable 35.7%, and the Mavericks added 24-year old John Jenkins to inject even more shooting to the backcourt.

    Jenkins didn’t play much for the Atlanta Hawks in his first three seasons but his shooting ability is what got him drafted in the first round and he hit 40.4% of his attempts last year.

    The Mavericks also brought back Charlie Villanueva, who made 83 of his own last season despite playing only 678 minutes, and drafted 3-and-D prospect Justin Anderson out of the University of Virginia.

    Anderson shot 45.2% for the Cavaliers as a junior last season and 38.5% on 39 attempts in six summer league games in Las Vegas.

    The Mavericks become even more dangerous if they can land a center capable of drawing significant attention rolling to the rim the way Tyson Chandler and Brandan Wright did, or the way DeAndre Jordan was supposed to. JaVale McGee could be a great fit if he can stay healthy and engaged.

    But either way the Mavericks likely have gone from a good three-point shooting team to a great one, and despite the frustrating circumstances that dominated their offseason and the looming problems with the roster as constituted, have recovered enough to at least stay competitive.

    Next: Can John Jenkins Get Career Going in New Setting?

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