Mavericks guard’s newfound identity could ignite deep playoff run

Dallas Mavericks, Josh Green
Dallas Mavericks, Josh Green / Jason Miller/GettyImages

As the Dallas Mavericks approach closer and closer to Game 3 at home versus the LA Clippers on Friday night, the intensity of these playoff bouts between the Mavericks and Clippers will only increase as the series treks along.

In Game 2, the Mavericks put together a spirited defensive effort spearheaded by Luka Doncic, as Dallas proved that they don’t have any liabilities on the defensive end when the situation is most dire.

The Mavericks will assuredly need to continue playing with their immense level of physicality and effort on the defensive end as well as on the glass if they want to beat the Clippers in this series, as the Mavericks’ newfound defensive identity gives them a far more consistent baseline to win games when their offense isn’t clicking.

The Mavericks getting their shooting going at home could easily turn the tide of this series in Dallas’ favor, but with Tim Hardaway Jr.’s recent ankle sprain, one Mavericks guard also will have the ability to make a larger imprint on this series than originally posited.

Josh Green's newfound identity can help Mavs make deep playoff run

Through two games against the Clippers thus far, Josh Green has been excellent for the Mavericks on the defensive end, and it seems likely that Green will get more playing time with Hardaway Jr. being officially listed as out for Game 3.

Green hasn’t drawn primary assignments at the point of attack like he did throughout stretches of the regular season, but he’s done a great job defending Clippers guards Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell when he’s been on the floor. Green has even held up defensively when he’s been switched onto some of the Clippers’ stars at times, and he’s also been extremely active when blitzing as the trap defender.

Green has used his athletic tools well on defense in this series, and he isn’t going for some of the ill-advised and sporadic gambles that plagued him throughout the course of the regular season. If the Mavericks are getting this version of Green defensively, then perhaps it isn’t the worst thing in the world that Green may get more playing time soon.

Green has struggled to make any sort of offensive impact in this series beyond a few crucial offensive rebounds, but if he can start making 3-pointers at the same volume that he did before his ankle sprain and can be a threat to attack off the dribble, then this Mavericks team becomes a lot more dynamic with their attack off the bench.

So long as Green continues to play stout defense, Dallas has a pretty good chance to beat the Clippers as long as some other variables fall in line.

If Green starts to contribute offensively even in a minimalistic fashion though, the Mavericks have a chance to make a pretty deep playoff run and possibly even the NBA Finals, as Green has shown flashes of being a solid playmaker when he gets downhill as well as some tertiary shot-creation abilities.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks and Josh Green, stay tuned with us as we will have you covered all weekend with Dallas’ two home playoff games.