Dallas Mavericks: Why Luka Doncic leads the team in rebounding this season
By Charles Allen
Dallas Mavericks fans are asking questions heading into the year. Here is why Luka Doncic will lead the Mavs in rebounding this season.
The Dallas Mavericks pulled in 3,716 total rebounds last season. That put them 16th in the NBA.
Adding a 7’3 power forward in Kristaps Porzingis sounds like it would make a massive impact, but that may not be the case. Porzingis averages 7.1 rebounds per game for his career. That would have ranked him third on the Mavs last season.
Throughout the history of NBA players who were 7’3 or taller, fans might be surprised to find out that none of them were particularly strong rebounders. Being the tallest player on the court does not necessarily mean prowess on the glass.
Porzingis moves more fluidly than the previous players of his height, but only time will tell how well he has recovered from his ACL injury. Porzingis will definitely be playing with a chip on his shoulder, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he does lead this team in rebounding.
Dwight Powell will see increased minutes and a more substantial role as the probable starting center this season. His numbers will increase as well. While Powell’s 5.3 rebounds per game average last year appears lackluster, he only played 21.6 minutes each night. Powell produced 8.9 rebounds per-36 and 12 per-100 possesions. They are better indications of what he can do when given the playing time.
Maxi Kleber is also poised for a larger role after signing his new contract with the Mavs. He will be behind Porzingis and Powell. The team will rely on Kleber more for his defensive abilities than anything else, but increased minutes should mean more production.
Further down the depth chart is fan-favorite Boban Marjanovic. He just starred in the movie, John Wick 3. While Boban won’t be banging around with superstars in a library, he is going to fill that much-needed role vacated by Salah Mejri as a big body banging around in the paint with the opposing team’s centers. His minutes will be limited, but he should provide quality spurts in games.
Delon Wright might surprise the casual fan with his rebounding abilities. The newly acquired point guard averaged 7.6 rebounds per game over his 11 starts with the Grizzlies. Sure, those games were at the end of the season on a tanking team, but Wright will rebound at a higher rate than most other point guards league-wide.
So the question remains, who will lead the Dallas Mavericks in rebounding for the 2019-2020 season?
The offseason favorite is reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic. In terms of total rebounds, Doncic will likely play more games than Porzingis. It is difficult to see anyone else on the roster snagging more boards than Doncic.
In terms of rebound average, Doncic is also the leader. Without fully knowing what Porzingis will look like when the season rolls around, Doncic proved as a rookie that he is capable of leading the Mavericks in rebounding.
The Mavericks will have to employ a team effort on the glass to avoid being one of the NBA’s worst teams.
Without it, rebounding could pose to be a problem for the foreseeable future. Staying middle-of-the-pack in rebounding next season would be a win. There are going to plenty of things the Dallas Mavericks excel at, but rebounding could be a struggle.