Why the Dallas Mavericks need to keep Marquese Chriss: 5. Defense
First-year head coach Jason Kidd has emphasized defense from the moment he was hired. He wants the Mavs to be a top ten unit on that end of the floor, and the Hall of Fame point guard changed the scheme and upped the aggression this season to kick start their improvement.
Kidd has made it clear that views Kristaps Porzingis as a four and wants to start another big man next to the Unicorn. Ideally, that player could be the five on the offensive end of the floor and get out to defend on the perimeter as KP protects the rim. Dwight Powell, Willie Cauley-Stein, Moses Brown, and Boban Marjanovic have all struggled on the defensive end playing next to KP.
Marquese Chriss is a high-energy player that flies around the floor. He is not afraid to get switched on to the perimeter, and the 24-year-old has done well moving his feet and staying in front of quicker guards during his brief stint in Dallas. Chriss has held his own defending inside too.
His defense should only improve with more time in the Dallas Mavericks system. Chriss was thrown into the lineup just hours after signing his first ten-day deal, but if they keep him around, he will have time to build chemistry with his teammates. Communication and cohesion are massive parts of being a strong defense unit, so the best should still be yet to come from Chriss on this end of the floor.