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Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen and Kristaps Porzingis would be a defensive nightmare for the Mavs

By Darreck Kirby
Dallas Mavericks Lauri Markkanen Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks Lauri Markkanen Kristaps Porzingis / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Lauri Markkanen / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks would struggle to make Lauri Markkanen and Kristaps Porzingis fit

The problem for Dallas, however, is the fit of a new-look frontcourt featuring Kristaps Porzingis and Markkanen. Neither is especially good at defending the perimeter, and both have serious deficiencies on the defensive end that force their teams to game plan around their weaknesses.

As such, the pairing, while presenting great offensive firepower and range, would struggle to anchor the Maverick defense, a struggle made all the greater by the loss of Kleber in the acquisition of Markkanen. Defense, don’t forget, is a significant area of need for the Mavericks. The offense has not been a problem, nor should fans expect it to be with Doncic at the helm.

There’s also the matter of Markkanen’s health. Four years into his NBA career, the Finnish sharpshooter has averaged just over 55 games per year and just 51 games over the past three seasons. He’s never appeared in more than 68 games in a given season, which is something that, for all of his own health concerns, Kristaps Porzingis can at least say. Over his five years of action spanning six calendar years, Porzingis has averaged 57.2 games played per season and just 50 per year as a Maverick.

As such, a frontcourt that cannot defend and cannot be counted on to stay healthy isn’t necessarily the most tantalizing prospect for a team looking to take the next step.