Justin Anderson enters his second season in Dallas with high hopes from not just the fanbase, but the coaching staff also.
With the 21st pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks selected Justin Anderson out of Virginia. Anderson came in with the typical treatment for younger players in Dallas as the youngster could barely crack the rotation at the beginning of the year.
By the end of the season, Anderson found himself logging over 20 minutes a game right in the middle of a playoff push for the Mavericks. As the Mavs finished 6th in the Western Conference, Anderson went from the end of the bench to start the season to helping guard Kevin Durant in the playoffs.
Anderson gave the Mavs something the fan base hadn’t seen in a while: a young, athletic wing player. He gave the Mavs a jolt of energy off the bench and an athletic presence on both ends of the court.
Now Anderson looks to build off that experience as he looks to take the next step in year two.
Thursday, at day three of training camp for Dallas, Rick Carlisle touched on the importance of having experience under your belt in regards to Anderson.
“Experience makes a big difference for a young player. He’s much better than a year ago. He’s going to be a rotation player for us” Carlisle stated.
Anderson could very well be the first player off the bench this year as Dallas looks to be pushing out a small ball lineup with Anderson, Matthews, and Barnes together.
When talking about where Anderson is at as a player progressing into his second season, Carlisle mentions how Anderson is adjusting to the new system.
“Right now, it’s just getting used to what our system this year is going to be. It’s not going to be exactly what it was last year because we have a lot of different players. But he’s going to be one of our foundations.”
This is exactly what Mavs fans want to hear coming from Rick Carlisle’s mouth in regards to Anderson. Not only is Carlisle already acknowledging he is better than he was last year, but he even mentions Anderson as being a “foundation.”
Anderson is one of the first young players that fans have been able to be excited about going into a season in a very long time. If Anderson could improve on his ball handling and consistent outside shot, we could see a big jump in Anderson’s minutes this season.
For Dallas to take a step up in the rankings out West, they need their second year stud to have a big time year as he will have a prominent role in the rotation.