Dallas Mavericks: Three Lineups the Mavs Might Try Out

By Evan Siegel
Sep 26, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) poses for a photo during Media Day at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) poses for a photo during Media Day at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Mavs face a tall order to make the playoffs this coming season, but with several clever lineups on the court, Dallas may be able to outsmart opponents into a few stolen wins.

Few in the business are better at what they do then Rick Carlisle, and he may be the difference between a playoff berth and a below .500 season.

As the small ball era continues in the NBA, the Mavs will have a challenge on their hands to combat other teams’ fast paced guards. The Mavs’ offseason resources went primarily towards adding depth at the bigger positions in the lineup, something that may hurt the Mavs’ pace and athleticism this coming year.

To combat smaller teams such as Houston and Golden State, the Mavs will be forced to use lineups that feature Harrison Barnes at the power forward position, with Salah Mejri being used at the center position. With a heavy dose of defense at the four and the five, Rick Carlisle will have to provide his lineup with shot creators at the other three positions.

With Deron Williams running the floor, Carlisle will need every ounce of speed he can possibly get out of J.J. Barea, and Justin Anderson.

A lineup of Williams, J.J. Barea, Justin Anderson, Barnes and Mejri will be tough to beat athletically. This lineup features a solid mix of both scoring and defense while keeping the team’s speed up down the floor.

Another lineup to consider this season features a very different kind of skill set. The Mavs offensive success towards the end of last season had a lot to do with slowing down the pace and going big against smaller teams. The Mavs’ depth in the front court is the team’s strongest asset this season, and using Dwight Powell and Quincy Acy in spurts will help Dallas overcome some offensive slumps.

Using Devin Harris, Wesley Mathews, Harrison Barnes, Quincy Acy and Dwight Powell could be a deceivingly tough lineup to deal with this coming year. The offensive diversity of Powell combined with the hustle play of Acy will force opposing centers to leave the paint, opening up slashing opportunities for Deron Williams and Harrison Barnes.

Oct 3, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) celebrates a basket against the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 3, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dwight Powell (7) celebrates a basket against the Charlotte Hornets during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Finally, the Mavs are going to have to rely on their defense this season. With few shooters or shot creators on the team, Dallas will have to rely on holding opponents to under 100 points to pull off wins.

Using an all defensive lineup will cause headaches when trying to score the ball, but will do just enough to keep Dallas afloat. Playing without a point guard at times is scary, but Dallas has some players with experience bringing the ball up the floor.

Harrison Barnes occasionally played point forward while with the Warriors, as did Wesley Matthews in his time with Portland. Putting Matthews on the opponent’s point guard while using Justin Anderson at the shooting guard spot will be difficult to score against. Furthermore, Dallas can use Harrison Barnes and his tremendous wingspan at the three.

The defensive wall on the perimeter can also be combined with the twin towers in the middle. Sarah Mejri was a phenomenal find by the Mavs front office, and putting him alongside Andrew Bogut will help Dallas contest shots, rebound the ball and get offensive rebounds.

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Zaza Pachulia was serviceable for Dallas this past year, but Bogut and Mejri will be a world’s better. It does not get much tougher defensively than Wesley Matthews, Justin Anderson, Harrison Barnes, Salah Mejri, and Andrew Bogut.

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