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Dallas Mavericks: Starting Willie Cauley-Stein unlocks the Mavs potential

Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Willie Cauley-Stein
Dallas Mavericks Willie Cauley-Stein Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Willie Cauley-Stein is a difference-maker for the Dallas Mavericks

Cauley-Stein started 81 games for the Kings in the 2018-2019 season. He averaged 11.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.6 blocks on 55.6 percent shooting from the field. The downsides of his increased playing time included 2.8 fouls a game and an abysmal 55.7 free throw percentage.

In his first four games as a starter for the Mavericks, Cauley-Stein averaged 7.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks on 66.7 percent from the field and 83.3 percent free throw rate. Those numbers in 25.9 minutes per game are a fantastic sign for his potential going forward.

It’s way too early to say definitively whether or not Trill should start, but these games have shown real promise. Dwight Powell started last season, but the most recent lineup change had the Mavs on a four-game winning streak.

They were able to best their conference rival Rockets, Western Conference finalist Nuggets, crushed a depleted Orlando Magic team, and got revenge on the same Hornets team that blew them out earlier this season.

Willie Cauley-Stein has all the right tools to run alongside the starters. He provides athleticism, defense, a knack for drawing fouls, and running to the rim. Most notably, Trill has started to extend his range. He is shooting threes to help increase the floor spacing while doing all the dirty work down low.

Next: Rebounding

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