Is Mitchell Robinson the answer for the Dallas Mavericks?
No, but he doesn’t need to be.
Realistically, the Mavs aren’t as plagued by disappointing contract value as some fans seem to think. There are pieces to move and add to make Dallas significantly better this offseason. Mitchell Robinson is a gargantuan step in the right direction for the Mavericks.
His age, size, and intensity are things all championship teams require. Look at the list of organizations that remain in the NBA playoffs. All of them have guys that deter opponents from driving. Look at every championship team. Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Bill Russell, and the list goes on. A winning team needs someone to create difficulty for opponents at the rim on both ends, and the Mavericks don’t have someone who can do that right now.
Among 2021 NBA Playoff teams, Dallas ranked last with 2.1 blocks per game and third to last with 30.3 defensive rebounds a night.
Kristaps Porzingis is not the rim protector he was as a 2018 All-Star. Dwight Powell doesn’t have the physical prowess to intimidate star big men, although he was a good burst of energy when it came to pushing for rebounds against the Clippers. Willie Cauley-Stein’s basketball IQ and inability to move laterally make him more of a liability than a threat.
Mitchell Robinson would be a shot in the arm for a Dallas team that desperately needs a formidable foe in the paint. He immediately gives the Mavericks rim protection and rebounding, two things they need as badly as food and water. If you surround Luka Doncic with a high-grade perimeter defender or two, a consistent secondary scoring option, and a fear-inducing rim protector, that team wins night in and night out. Nobody tanks to draw that team in the playoffs.
The Dallas Mavericks and their fans are frustrated. Losing to the same team in back-to-back playoff series hurts, especially when one player has done essentially all the damage. Mitchell Robinson is one of the more accessible quick fixes. Luka has pieces to work with, but he needs guys that can limit his workload. Mitch Rob does just that.