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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: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Should the Dallas Mavericks be worried about the pick and roll defense of Kristaps Porzingis?

The LA Clippers shredded the Mavs in the pick and roll through two games. They have scored 1.09 points per possession on the play, including shooting 54.3 percent from the field. Both marks would have led the league by a wide margin during the regular season.

Dallas is playing drop coverage with Porzingis on the floor. He sinks into the paint to protect the rim, but LA continues to score anyways. Here Paul George drives to the rim for an easy bucket.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/21/5b61ab1e-387f-83b9-021a-ab1cbb7ee566_1280x720.mp4

Porzingis does a better job on the next possession, but the result is the same.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/23/fb98fc00-5c84-43b1-5db3-54fe103baf3b_1280x720.mp4

KP needs to do a better job protecting the rim in the pick and roll. The Clippers had too many easy buckets in the first two games. The Mavs have shot the lights so far to be up 2-0, but the defense must improve if they are going to finish off the series.

The coverage creates some problems for Dallas because Kawhi Leonard loves to attack in the mid-range. Here he pulls up for a wide-open jumper.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/200/ddb17bfc-6e10-926e-7f55-324f3938726c_1280x720.mp4

Kristaps Porzingis struggled mightily to defend the pick and roll. The Dallas Mavericks do not have answers there. They need to stick with the drop coverage because of KP’s issues defending on the perimeter. Let us take a closer look.

Next: KP's perimeter defense

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