Dallas Mavericks Dilemma: Who Should Be the Sixth Man?
While I know some fans will be grabbing their torches and pitchforks at the mention of Dirk not being in the starting lineup, it needs to be discussed. Dirk Nowitzki is coming up on 39 years old and is in his 19 season in the NBA. As a defender he isn’t the fleetest of feet, and at times can be a weakness on that end of the floor. It is not abnormal to see older players move to a sixth man role while still playing decent minutes, just look to Zach Randolph for a perfect example of that.
From a logistics stand point, the idea of the Big German becoming the first player off the bench makes some sense. It would allow the Mavs young core of Yogi-Curry-Wes-Barnes-Noel to play together and build chemistry, and Dirk could still play an important role. All the while he would be feasting on bench players, alongside his long time teammates Barea and Harris.
Imagine if Dallas’ bench was Barea, Harris, Dorian Finney-Smith, Dwight Powell, and Nowitzki. They would run teams off the floor, scoring in a fury and frustrating opposing coaches. When drawn out, Dirk the sixth man could be a fun and successful idea. He has even offered to come off the bench before, as recently as this year.
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I’m not calling for the beloved Nowitzki to be benched, but if Dallas was serious about winning they should consider all avenues of approach. Whatever Carlisle and Co. decides, having too many good players is a wonderful problem to have.