Suggestion for Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle: 4. Limit KP’s post-fadeaways
Speaking of post-ups, Kristaps Porzingis is often called “The Unicorn” for his unique blend of agility and shooting at 7’3. That combination of size and skill is incredibly rare even in the greatest basketball league in the world, thus earning him the nickname.
KP is a matchup nightmare. If he’s being guarded by a traditional big, he can stretch out to the 3-point line and neutralize the opponent’s rim protection or use his speed advantage to blow by his defender for an easy two. If they switch a smaller, quicker defender onto him, he can use his size to his advantage.
Porzingis has failed to capitalize whenever he’s guarded by a smaller defender. The Unicorn has a frustrating affinity for taking fadeaways or face-up jumpers whenever he’s got a size mismatch. While it’s easy for him to shoot over shorter defenders, taking a jump-shot instead of backing his matchup into the paint is doing the defense a favor.
Last season, The Unicorn was top 30 in the league by averaging 3.7 post touches per contest. While he received plenty of opportunities to score with his back to the basket, KP only averaged 0.64 points per post touch. That means that he only scored once every three post possessions.
Rather than force-feeding him post looks, Carlisle should play more to KP’s strengths. Instead of posting him up near the free-throw line as they often do, the Mavericks should put Porzingis on the block whenever he’s got a size mismatch.
Putting KP on the block would encourage him to take easier looks out of the post and create offensive rebounding opportunities with a smaller defender having to box him out after a miss. Carlisle can reduce the amount of missed fadeaways fans have to endure and turn them into put-backs and posters for Kristaps Porzingis.
Next: No. 3