Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis is the key to defeating the LA Clippers
Why Kristaps Porzingis is key for Dallas Mavericks to top Clippers: 4. Defense
The Mavs have allowed 116.7 points per in the three games against the Clippers this season. That is too much when facing one of the NBA’s top-five defensive teams. The number would rank Dallas in the bottom five in points allowed if they did it every night too.
The Mavericks struggled mightily on defense in the bubble. Dallas allowed 126.8 points per over the eight seeding games. That was the absolute worst mark of the 22 teams in Orlando. The Nuggets were the only team below them in defensive rating in the bubble.
Fans can read a prediction of how the Mavericks defense would struggle when Kristaps Porzingis went to the bench here. Much of that came true. They also struggled with KP on the floor.
The Unicorn needs to take over as the anchor of Dallas’ defense. He must contest shots and not get switched onto the perimeter against the Clippers. Perhaps, the Mavs could take a page out of Doc Rivers’ playbook. Ivica Zubac does well at getting back to guarding the big man after a switch. Porzingis needs to do the same for Dallas to have success in the playoffs.
KP cannot get bullied by Zubac and Montrezl Harrell down low either. Dallas needs him to step up and defend well in the paint to have any chance of pulling the upset.
Next: No. 3