Case for the Dallas Mavericks starting Jalen Brunson
Luka Doncic led the NBA in time of possession last season, and he finished top five in touches per game. The 22-year-old superstar is incredible with the ball in his hands, but carrying such a heavy burden made him wear down late in games.
Head coach Jason Kidd is searching for ways to lighten Luka’s workload, and Brunson can handle the ball and create plays. The Mavs are lacking in this area. Yes, Luka Doncic is outstanding, but he needs help from his support cast.
The team’s options are limited. Tim Hardaway Jr. can create shots for himself, and Trey Burke can provide some instant offense off the bench, but they are the only other Mavericks that can offer playmaking ability. It was an issue fans thought the organization would address in the offseason, but they failed to do so.
Jalen Brunson is playing 27.5 minutes per game through the first eight contests because he gives the team that playmaker and ball-handler next to Luka that can make his life easier. It also keeps defenses guessing and gives coach Jason Kidd more options, which is important because the Dallas Mavericks offense lost some space from Rick Carlisle’s five-out system with defined roles for each player.