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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: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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

Porzingis has always struggled to defend on the perimeter. It is the main reason why the Mavs play drop coverage in the pick and roll. They do not want KP switched onto a guard and stuck on the perimeter.

The Clippers have made second-half comebacks and gone on runs by going small in both games of the series so far. They use some combination of Rajon Rondo, Nicolas Batum, Reggie Jackson, Patrick Beverley, Terrance Mann, and Marcus Morris Sr. to flank their two stars. Pulling Porzingis onto the perimeter results in an easy dunk for Paul George in the fourth quarter of Game 2.

https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/25/0042000172/553/4c8cabd6-da6b-8f51-5be3-8be0c1f267a3_1280x720.mp4

The Clippers may shift to playing smaller in the starting five as they attempt to run Kristaps Porzingis off the floor. LA shot 41.1 percent from 3-point range during the regular season, which led the NBA. They have plenty of shooting to spread the Mavericks out and make them. Forcing KP to defend on the perimeter could cause problems for Dallas.

How can the Dallas Mavericks improve their defense without taking Porzingis off the floor? Here are a few options that could help them win the series and advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Next: How can KP improve?

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