What is holding Christian Wood back from playing more minutes for the Dallas Mavericks?
Wood played just 24 minutes in the opener, despite having 25 points, eight rebounds, and one block. Coach Kidd should have gone with him more, especially late, but he wanted Maxi Kleber’s defense on the floor as they tried to close out one of the best teams in the NBA.
Defense is keeping C-Wood from playing 30 minutes per game. He got more time in game two and may have even played over 30, but Dallas emptied the bench in the fourth quarter of the blowout win. Wood has been unstoppable on offense, but he is still learning the Mavericks' defensive scheme and earning the trust of the coaching staff. Dallas prides itself on its defense, and they need to trust that C-Wood is bought in on that end of the floor.
The Mavs have an offensive rating of 147.6 with Luka Doncic and Christian Wood sharing the floor after the first two games. They are unstoppable, but any lineup with those two players has defensive questions. Number 77 is improving his D, and Wood is looking to do the same. They have allowed 115.6 points per 100 possession in their first 31 minutes on the floor together. That is more than J-Kidd would like, but the offensive production has far outweighed it.
Time and trust are the main things keeping Wood’s playing time down. Reggie Bullock averaged just 23.9 minutes per game through the first 27 contests last season before barely coming off the floor in the playoffs. He was earning the coaching staff’s trust and fitting into a new team and environment. Fans should not panic about Wood’s minutes early on. He is one of the team’s best players, and that will ultimately result in significant playing time when the games matter most.
Will Christian Wood start and play over 30 minutes per game? Stay tuned to see what head coach Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks have planned as they look to go on a second straight deep playoff run.