Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd switched up the starting lineup on Friday night. The Hall of Fame point guard committed to starting JaVale McGee at the five the moment he signed this summer, but he has struggled to start the year. It took just seven games before Kidd made a change in the opening group.
He put Dwight Powell into the starting five over McGee against the Toronto Raptors on Nov. 4. The 6’10 big man played in all 100 games last season, and he started all 18 playoff games on the team's run to the conference finals. Powell was out of the rotation to begin the season, but he has taken advantage of every opponent thus far.
Powell outplayed McGee since joining the rotation, and he changed the game against the Jazz to help Dallas pick up a hard-fought win. Here is a look at what coach Kidd had to say about the move before Friday’s game.
Dwight Powell replaces JaVale McGee in Mavericks starting 5
The Mavs signed McGee to improve their rebounding and rim protection. Both weaknesses were on clear display during their postseason run, but McGee has struggled to defend the paint and he has the worst per 36 rebounding rate since 2018.
Powell gives Dallas a lob threat and a dangerous pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic. He will continue to struggle to rebound and protect the rim, but his energy and effort are contagious.
Coach Kidd had this to say pregame about the starting lineup change courtesy of ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
The Mavs are still experimenting with their lineups and rotations. Coach Kidd knows Powell plays well off of Luka and the duo has a special connection in the pick and roll. He is making the change for Friday night, but he could change things up again if the team continues to struggle early in games.
Dallas Mavericks fans want Christian Wood to start, but the team needs him on the floor when Luka rests. Dwight Powell will start at the five on Nov. 4, but does it solve the team’s starting lineup woes? Stay tuned to find out.