Should Christian Wood come off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks?
Is Wood one of the Mavericks' five best players? Unquestionably yes, but that does not mean he should start. Head coach Jason Kidd should be looking to maximize the personnel on the floor at all times.
The Mavs want JaVale McGee playing all of his minutes with Doncic, so they can take advantage of his ability as a roll man and lob threat. If Wood starts the game at the five, that means McGee likely plays some with the second unit. The team’s lack of ball-handling and playmaking behind Luka makes it wise to put arguably their second-best scorer in the second unit.
McGee also plays his best in shorter bursts, and he has averaged more than 20 minutes per game just once since 2012. He is going to play a limited role with the lion’s share of the minutes at the five going to Wood.
Starting McGee also means he is playing physically against the opposition’s starting big man. Most teams do not have the same size in the second unit or the player is not a threat to bully down low. It makes for better regular season matchups if McGee starts and Wood comes off the bench, despite playing the majority of the minutes.