News came out during the Dallas Mavericks Media Day today that Dirk Nowitzki will be starting at center while Nerlens Noel will come off the bench. What will this mean for the team?
In what some will view as breaking news, the Dallas Mavericks announced at their media day today that Dirk Nowitzki will be starting at center this season with Nerlens Noel set to come off the bench. After being dubbed the Mavs “center of the future”, this is a bit shocking that Dallas is choosing to roll with Dirk in the starting lineup.
After the craziness that took place this summer ending in Noel signing a qualifying offer to play for the Mavs at a crazy bargain one-year deal, this announcement will undoubtedly raise some questions. Does this mean that the Mavs are accepting Noel being all but gone after this season? Is Noel well-suited as a sixth man? Who will surround Dirk in the starting lineup?
Let’s answer these questions here.
Does this mean that the Mavs are accepting Noel being all but gone after this season?
Not necessarily. People have to realize that the Dallas Mavericks front office is one of the quietest in the NBA for a reason. Coach Carlisle, Donnie Nelson, and Mark Cuban discuss things on a regular basis and, most importantly, they do things that are best for the team over anything else.
They also take care of players individually and are loyal to those who are loyal to them. The fact that Carlisle admits to speaking with Noel about coming off the bench and him agreeing with that could mean a number of things. It could mean that he only cares about what happens after this season, or it could mean that he understands the respect Dirk deserves and knows he will get his place as soon as Dirk retires.
There is no way to fully understand just how this all played out.
Is Noel well-suited as a sixth man?
It is odd to think about a center as a potential 6th man, but Noel brings such a different dynamic to the court than Dirk that it could workout awesome for the team. Knowing what we know about Dirk’s minutes is also important because Noel is going to get time with both the first and second units which will help his growth and production a lot.
He may not get on the radar as a 6th Man of the Year candidate this season, but his presence will be noticed on the court.
Who will surround Dirk in the starting lineup?
Aside from the worries that come with Noel, there is also the question of who will join Dirk in the starting lineup this season. Their is a good chance that the Mavs go with Harrison Barnes at the 4 for now and Dennis Smith Jr. has all but sealed his place as the starting point guard for the team.
This leaves the shooting guard and small forward positions. Wes Matthews is more than likely going to join the starting lineup as the small forward and Seth Curry or Devin Harris will likely be the shooting guard. It will be interesting to see how much the Mavs tinker with the lineup after the season starts.
It will be a very interesting and confusing season for the Mavs as a lot of things will need to be sorted out and much more news will surface over time. Regardless of all that, it will be nice seeing Dirk in the starting lineup for yet another season.