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Dallas Mavericks: 3 players who need to step up on defense

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks are about to enter training camp with the goal of becoming serious title contenders. They failed to add another star in free agency, but have one of the five best players in the league in Luka Doncic. His supporting cast must step up and perform better if the Mavs are going to go on a playoff run, and that starts with Kristaps Porzingis. The Unicorn needs to be the second star Dallas traded for to take that next step.

New head coach Jason Kidd wants to improve the team’s defense this season. The Mavericks finished 21st in defensive rating a year ago, despite making moves they thought would fix their issues on that end of the floor. Kidd has already let fans know it will be his focus, but how can he accomplish that goal?

Fans should expect the Mavs' scheme to change. The Hall of Fame point guard was known for his aggressive defense when coaching the Bucks, but it was largely figured out by the end of his tenure. Will Kidd adopt a similar style in Dallas? It is something to watch, but scheme changes alone will not complete the job.

3 Dallas Mavericks players who need to step up on defense this season

The Mavs added two 3-and-D wings this offseason, and they are hoping that plus improved health leads to better performance. An Achilles injury slowed Maxi Kleber late in the regular season and into the playoffs, but the Mavericks need his perimeter defense and rim protection to return this year. He will be a key defender for Dallas, but here are three players that need to step up if they are going to make a massive improvement.