Dallas Mavericks: What Kind of Point Guard Fits in Dallas?
Adept at Running the Pick-and-Roll
Being a smart, willing passer is an important trait for any point guard, but anyone running the Mavs’ offense needs to do more than that. They need to be an expert at running the pick-and-roll. Rick Carlisle is one of the greatest minds the NBA has to offer, and in the recent past I feel that his genius has been hindered at times due to the lack of a truly dynamic point.
His pick-and-roll heavy offense relies greatly on two things: spacing and a capable lead guard. The former Dallas has done an excellent job achieving, with the roster being stacked to the brim with good shooters. With a starting lineup consisting of Wesley Matthews, Harrison Barnes, and Dirk Nowitzki, outside shooting has not been a problem.
On the contrary, the man initiating the pick-and-roll has left something to be desired oftentimes. That’s not a knock on the Mavs’ current stable of point guards; not everyone can be a franchise player, and they have filled their role nicely. J.J. Barea for example has shown the ability to run basketball’s greatest play with expertise. In the gifs below Barea runs the pick-and-roll to perfection with Nerlens Noel, making the right read out of a double team and reading the post defender beautifully.
This is a staple in Carlisle’s offense and is a must-have for whoever the Mavs bring in at point. One prospect that Dallas could possibly draft is Dennis Smith Jr. Despite an uninspiring cast, Smith Jr showed the ability to make the right reads and the ability to deliver the ball on time. Better teammates and NBA spacing should only help that.
Whoever Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson decide to bring in, they will need to either have solid experience with the pick-and-roll, or be a very quick learner.
Next: Able to Play Off Ball