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Kristaps Porzingis proves why he is the Mavericks most important player

Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis stretches the floor for Dallas Mavericks

Porzingis missed all five of his three 3-point attempts on Christmas day, and he is shooting a career-worst 27.2 percent from downtown for the season. The Mavs need him to start knocking down shots, but his threat still draws out the defense.

Having a 7’3 big man that must be guarded beyond the 3-point line is a massive advantage for Dallas. The Jazz primarily defended Royce O’Neale, a 6’4 wing on KP. They needed someone with the ability to guard on the perimeter to have a chance to slow down Porzingis.

Former head coach Rick Carlisle wanted the Unicorn spotting up beyond the 3-point line because of the space on the floor it creates. Porzingis was not comfortable in that role, but the Mavs produced a historic offensive rating in 2020. He has more freedom in Jason Kidd’s system, and it has allowed KP to showcase his entire skillset.

The opposing defense changes when Kristaps Porzingis is on the floor. They are forced to flip the matchups and try to find a wing that can slow down the Unicorn, which creates multiple mismatches that the Dallas Mavericks can exploit. Porzingis is doing a better job at making smaller defenders pay this season, and here is a look at how.

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