Even though the Dallas Mavericks might have brought the majority of the team back from last year, it will still take time to mesh together.
Outside of the non-guaranteed contracts, there are only a few new faces around the team and rotation coming into the season.
Josh McRoberts was brought in from Miami in a trade where it is unclear whether the veteran will have a role or not with the team. The biggest addition, and a big one at that, is their first round draft pick in Dennis Smith Jr.
Outside of those two, the rotation for the Dallas Mavericks will look really similar to last year…except player roles will look a lot different.
Dirk Nowitzki looks to make the full-time switch to the five where he will start alongside of Harrison Barnes up front. Wesley Matthews played a lot of three last year, but now is pointing towards a full-time three moving forward.
Seth Curry isn’t playing the back-and-forth game anymore with starting as he is the new starting shooting guard alongside of Smith Jr. Nerlens Noel moves to a bench role and the second unit looks to include three guards with Ferrell, Barea, and Harris.
Dallas might have a lot of the same faces on the team, but it will still take time to mesh together with the new starting unit and new player roles.
“It’s been a long summer, but it’s going to take a while to get going for everybody and mesh together,” Dirk Nowitzki said after their first preseason game on Monday.
“I thought we had some good moments here and there. Definitely something to build on. Preseason is all about finding rhythm…first week is usually hard,” Nowitzki said.
With the new starting unit finally intact, now it’s about getting them acclimated with each other.
On Monday night, Carlisle ditched the normal rotation routine and instead threw out his starters for the entire first quarter. Well, almost all of them, except for Dirk.
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“We tried to play the whole first quarter together. I’m the only guy who can’t make 12 minutes straight right now. They gave me a little breather in the middle there,” Nowitzki joked at his locker after the game.
“That’s going to be a lineup that’s going to play together a lot. We have to get used to each other. We have been practicing together and keeping the starting five together like that even in practice,” Nowitzki said.
Monday marked the debut of Dennis Smith Jr. in Dallas and it was another keen reminder that it will take time for even a Rookie of the Year candidate also. Smith Jr. played in all 12 first quarter minutes and finished with three points on 1-5 shooting from the field.
“This is really the beginning of learning an awful lot in a short amount of time,” Carlisle said of Smith Jr. after the game.
Many people predicted it would take time for the 19 year old to adjust to the league, but it’s going to take time for the entire team to mesh no matter the familiarity.