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Dallas Mavericks: Should the defense of Kristaps Porzingis be a worry?

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Dallas Mavericks be worried about the interior defense of Kristaps Porzingis?

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue was not shy about telling the media that his team needed to attack the paint more in Game 2. The Mavericks finished 20th by allowing the opposition to shoot 64.8 percent in the paint during the regular season. LA wanted to exploit that weakness, so they attacked KP early and often on May 25.

The Clippers ran a ton of pick and rolls in the first quarter and nearly played Porzingis off the floor. More on that to come. KP struggled to protect the rim anytime LA got into the paint. The lowlight for Mavericks fans was Paul George taking the Unicorn’s ankles on a drive and dunk in the second quarter.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/226/29eed3f3-a28a-8544-73f8-f7ce46cc3ae5_1280x720.mp4

It was a tale of two halves for Porzingis and the Mavericks. LA went 13 of 15 in the restricted area in the opening 24 minutes, but Dallas held them to eight of 14 in the second half. KP stepped up his defense starting the third quarter. Here he stays in front of Paul George forcing a kick out only to recover and block Marcus Morris Sr. from getting an easy bucket.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/354/d54e4a6d-d7a0-c3c9-a303-b398c4817464_1280x720.mp4

Dallas needs that Kristaps Porzingis on the interior. He picked up two quick fouls in the third being aggressive at the rim. KP must contest shots, but avoid fouling going forward. The 7’3 big man did not commit a foul in the final quarter. Kristaps Porzingis needs to protect the rim and force tough shots at the rim for the Dallas Mavericks to make a deep playoff run.

Next: KP's pick and roll defense

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