Expect the Dallas Mavericks to play smaller without Luka Doncic
The Mavs have kept the starting lineup status quo, but they have shifted to playing more single big man lineups as they have won five of their last six games. So far this season, the team’s best and most used lineups without Luka Doncic on the floor are with a lone big man.
It will be interesting to see if head coach Jason Kidd benches Dwight Powell in favor of Reggie Bullock. That would allow Dallas to play small from the opening tipoff, and gives them more lineup flexibility when they are forced to go to the bench. The starting shift likely won’t happen but expect the five players with the most minutes to be Kristaps Porzingis, Dorian Finney-Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and Bullock.
The Mavs could adjust to playing just Dwight Powell and Kristaps Porzingis at the five until Maxi Kleber returns from his oblique injury. That allows them to maximize the space on the floor and will help cover up the team’s lack of ball-handling and playmaking with Luka Doncic on the shelf.
Willie Cauley-Stein has struggled in recent games, and Boban Marjanovic is a matchups option. It would make the most sense for Kidd to play small and avoid using Trill and Bobi with Luka out.