Why Dallas Mavericks aren’t playing Christian Wood more: 1. Rotation
The Mavs rotation is dictated by Luka Doncic’s substitution pattern more than anything. For nearly all of his Mavericks career, number 77 has played the entire first and third quarters before resting the first six-ish minutes in the second and fourth, so he can finish the halves strong. Dallas wants to stagger their top three scorers, so Wood comes off the bench at the six-minute mark in the first and third quarters.
Using C-Wood off the bench in that pattern makes it difficult to work him into the closing lineup. Kidd wants to get him six minutes with Luka before playing Wood and Dinwiddie the opening six minutes without Doncic. For Wood to close the game, that would mean staying on the court for 18 straight minutes, and after playing 12, a short rest does a minimal amount of help.
The rotation also impacts C-Wood because coach Kidd wants him to play with certain players. He often shares the floor with Maxi Kleber. If the head coach wants Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Reggie Bullock in the closing group that leaves just two spots between Wood, Tim Hardaway Jr, Dinwiddie, and Kleber. Kidd is going to ride the hot hand, and that could make Wood’s minutes even lower on any given night.
Coach Kidd does want Wood to play more, but it is all about finding the right opportunities.
Christian Wood has been a dynamic offensive player for the Dallas Mavericks, and he is a key to the team’s success, but he needs to earn the coaching staff’s trust and improve his defense if he wants to play more minutes moving forward. Will he do it? Stay tuned to find out.