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Dallas Mavericks starting lineup, rotation with three players out of protocols

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks starting lineup

Coach Carlisle opted to start with a small ball lineup after running Kristaps Porzingis at the four for significant stretches during his first seven games of the season.

PG: Luka Doncic

The MVP candidate is the Mavericks offensive engine and most important player. Luka is averaging 27.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 9.7 assists per game so far. He could become the third player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the season.

SG: Josh Richardson

Richardson will be asked to guard the opposition’s lead ball-handler and provide some scoring punch this season. It was a rough first game back, but JRich got some open looks. His perimeter defense is one of the keys to the Mavericks taking a step forward this season.

SF: Tim Hardaway Jr.

THJ was the team’s third-leading scorer last season. The Mavericks need his shooting to keep the offense rolling. Hardaway Jr. is heating up including averaging 19.6 points over his last five games.

PF: Dorian Finney-Smith

Coach Carlisle loves Finney-Smith’s defense. He needs to stand out on that end of the floor and knock down open shots. Doe-Doe will be looking to prove last season’s 3-point jump was no fluke.

C: Kristaps Porzingis

Playing at the five gets KP more involved in the offense. He goes from floor spacer to roll man. Porzingis produced the best numbers of his career during the bubble, and he was playing at the five. Expect monster production once the Mavericks rotation gets settled.

Next: Second unit