Mavericks' unique plan to stop James Harden could lead to disaster

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

After nearly completing one of the largest comebacks in NBA Playoff history on Sunday while being down 31 points to the LA Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks would drop Game 4 116-111. A combination of factors led to the Mavericks' demise, including their ineffectiveness from behind the arc.

As a whole, the team would shoot a measly 33.3 percent from behind the arc, but with starters like P.J. Washington going 1-5 and Luka Doncic shooting 1-9 from behind the 3-point line, it's no wonder why the team shot poorly. Doncic even remarked after the game that he is letting the team down, specifically Kyrie Irving, and said he has to help him more.

Additionally, down the stretch of the game, the Mavericks made some questionable adjustments on the court and within the closing rotation. One adjustment that killed the Mavericks late in the fourth quarter was simply to deny James Harden his signature step-back 3-point shot and instead make him rely on his floater game.

Mavericks' unique plan to stop James Harden could lead to disaster

Harden torched the Mavericks with his floater and shot an impressive 5-6 with his incredible touch shot.

After the Mavericks let Game 4 and a 31-point comeback slip away from their fingertips, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was asked how he plans to guard Harden after he exploded for one of his best playoff performances in Game 4. Kidd responded by saying the team plans to continue to deny Harden his step-back shot and make him rely on his floater once again.

While at the surface value, this may seem like a great adjustment to make before Game 5, considering Harden shot 30 percent with his floater during the regular season, this pre-game adjustment could once again cost the Mavericks an early lead.

One way the Mavericks can make this adjustment work is by instilling a bigger lineup and taking out Maxi Kleber. Throughout Game 4, Kleber refused to step up on Harden's floater due to the lob threat that the Clippers centers present. With this in mind, replacing Kleber with a shot blocker like Dereck Lively II could make this adjustment work.

Lively II's shot-blocking presence could cause Harden to think twice about driving in an open lane and jacking up a floater.

Despite losing Game 4 based on missed opportunities, the Mavericks still need to make other adjustments before Game 5 tips off tonight. One way the Mavericks could take a 3-2 series lead over the Clippers is by coming out with more energy.

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