Dallas Mavericks best lineup heading into 2022-2023 season: 4. Best defense
The Mavs reached the conference finals in 2022, and they plan on being a contender again this season. What if Dallas needs a stop late in the game, or they are looking to hold onto a lead by closing with their best defensive group? Here is the best five-man lineup they can run out on that end of the floor.
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Reggie Bullock
SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
PF: Maxi Kleber
C: JaVale McGee
The Mavericks want Doncic on the floor in any closing situation to run the offense. He gets attacked on the defensive end but improving there was a focus this offseason. Can Doncic be an average or better defender this season? Will fans see a noticeable improvement? It is something to watch this year.
Dallas has options for the pieces around him. Finney-Smith and Bullock are the team’s two best perimeter defenders, so they are immediate adds to this group.
The final two spots could depend on what the opposition is using. If they are playing a traditional big man, JaVale McGee should be anchoring this unit for the Mavericks. Facing a small ball lineup, Kleber likely slides to the five with Frank Ntilikina playing next to Luka in the backcourt.
McGee gives the Mavs a strong rebounder and rim protector to anchor their defense. The seven-footer should be a fantastic pick and roll partner for Doncic on the other end, but his unique defensive skill set gives him the nod in this group.