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Mavericks: Was trade deadline anxiety a factor for Kristaps Porzingis?

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis has made a change to his game that could help the Dallas Mavericks

Porzingis struggled to adjust to his new role with the Mavs at the start of the 2019-2020 season. He was attempted a career-high number of 3-pointers and was not getting the same frequency of post ups. The Mavericks wanted to maximize the Unicorn’s value as a stretch big man that creates space for the offense to thrive. It worked as Dallas produced the best offensive rating in NBA history.

Porzingis has improved his efficiency this season by making some subtle changes. He is shooting a career-high in field goal, free throw, effective field goal, and true shooting percentage.

In New York, KP took a high volume of mid-range jumpers. The Mavericks shifted a lot of those to 3-pointers last season. This year, the Unicorn is attacking the paint more (24.6 percent of his field-goal attempts this season have come from within the restricted area versus 21.1 percent in 2019-2020). He is finishing those tries at 72.4 percent.

Jumpers are subject to small sample size variance in a playoff series, but finishing at the rim is not. Having KP attack more could help the Dallas Mavericks as they attempt to go on a deep playoff run for the first time since 2011.

Since the trade deadline, Porzingis has taken 26.6 percent of his field-goal attempts from within the restricted area. His ability to attack and finish inside will be key in the postseason.

Next: Best is yet to come

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