The Dallas Mavericks have been able to stand the tide against injuries throughout the last month and a half en route to a 22-16 record. The Western Conference standings are tightly packed at the moment with there only being four games of disparity between seeds four and 10 in the conference, so every team is looking for any avenue to improve ahead of the playoffs, even if it's only a move that will improve them marginally.
The Dallas Mavericks have been actively surfing the trade market for ways to improve ahead of the NBA's February 8 trade deadline, but Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd has been making his own tweaks within the Mavericks' rotation to try and improve the team as well.
One of the more shocking developments in Dallas of recent has been that of Grant Williams, as the 25-year-old forward who Dallas brought in during the summer through a three-team sign-and-trade, is on the fringes of Jason Kidd's rotation for the Mavericks after only playing seven minutes in Dallas' Tuesday night loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Williams hasn't started in a game since Dallas' 118-110 loss to the Timberwolves on December 28, and his minutes have been depreciating in virtually every game since. Williams has been dealing with some knee and ankle issues recently so that's obviously affected his spot in the rotation a little, but furthermore, he just hasn't been playing to the same standard that he was playing at during the first part of the season for Dallas.
Williams started off the season shooting 56.1 percent from downtown through Dallas' first six contests, and he was also proving himself to be somewhat of a defensive anchor at the power-forward position. Unfortunately, Williams' defense has looked much worse since that early-season stretch in Dallas, as his lack of length and quickness is readily apparent when matching up with wings and guards.
Williams has a stout base on defense, but it hasn't been enough to give Dallas the ability to play him at small-ball five, as he's not a good enough rebounder and doesn't have enough length on defense. Williams is still shooting 38 percent from three-point land, but his volume and efficiency have drastically dropped since earlier this season. Williams has to be a shooting threat when he's in the game given his limited offensive repertoire, and recently he hasn't been able to even do that for Dallas.
97.1 The Freak's pre-game and post-game radio host for Mavericks games, Kevin Gray Jr., hinted that Williams recent struggles could be attributed to the fact that it's the first time in his career where he's had an expansive role.
It's unknown whether this is the case or not for Williams' recent struggles, but he's likely going to further slip in Dallas' rotation if he continues to play as poorly as he has recently. Williams can still be a positive contributor for Dallas off the bench, but he'll need to prove himself worthy enough of starting once again if he wants to uphold early-season expectations.
Hopefully Williams start to return to form soon, but even if he doesn't we'll have you covered with the situation, so stay tuned.