Mavericks: Why Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will play a key role in Orlando
By Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will play an important role in NBA Disney
The Dallas Mavericks are in Orlando gearing up for the season’s restart. They will be back in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Before that, the Mavs play eight seeding games.
Dallas is down a few players heading in. Jalen Brunson and Willie Cauley-Stein did not travel with the team to Orlando. Dwight Powell and Courtney Lee have been ruled out for the season with injuries. The Mavs signed Trey Burke as a substitute player, but he has not made his way to Disney World yet.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also did not travel with the team to Orlando. He has since arrived and begun practicing. The 26-year-old forward joined the Mavericks in February after being bought out by the Hornets. He did not have time to fully settle in before the NBA suspended play. Let us take a look at why MKG will play an important role for Dallas in the restart.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will be a key role player for the Dallas Mavericks in Orlando
Kidd-Gilchrist only averaged 7.9 minutes in his nine games with the Mavs before the stoppage. He played in just 12 games with Charlotte this season. MKG could be in for more run during the restart.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle loves to play the matchups. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis are going to see massive minutes every night. He is not afraid to mix up the rotation after that to give Dallas the best chance at a victory.
One thing the Mavs lack this season is lockdown perimeter defenders. Dorian Finney-Smith is their top option. Dallas is light on strong pieces behind that. It is one reason they have struggled against the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both elite perimeter scorers. Finney-Smith cannot guard both when they share the floor. This could be a matchup where MKG shines.
Kidd-Gilchrist has performed well in isolation situations. Bobby Karalla has the stats here. It could also make MKG an option against the Rockets. No team does it more than Houston according to NBA Stats.
The Mavs may also use him as a switchable big man. His versatile defense could help Dallas stop runs in the playoffs.
Kidd-Gilchrist has a limited offensive skill set. His jumper has mostly been non-existent during his eight NBA seasons. MKG does most of his scoring inside, but he is not going to be a massive threat on that end of the floor.
He could still play a key role for the Dallas Mavericks in the playoffs. His defense might be game-changing. Expect coach Carlisle to find spots to use him. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will deliver too. Stay tuned for what should be an exciting conclusion to the season in Walt Disney World.