Dallas Mavericks option to replace Dwight Powell in starting five: 3. Go small
This is an option, but one the Mavs are reluctant to explore. Kristaps Porzingis is going to play center in the playoffs as the lone big man because it is the team’s best and most efficient way to operate on both ends of the floor. Dallas knows this, but asking KP to play the five every night over an 82-game slate is another task.
The main worry becomes the Unicorn’s health. Can his body withstand the physical toll of banging with often significantly more massive men in the paint over the sixth-month regular season and into the playoffs? It is a massive ask.
Fans have seen in the last two games that KP can get in foul trouble much easier wrestling big men. He picked up three fouls in just over two minutes of game action against the Bulls and Nikola Vucevic just two nights after making a similar mistake against Jonas Valanciunas and the Pelicans.
The Mavericks have plenty of options to start if they plan on going small. Jalen Brunson would give Dallas a secondary creator in the opening five or Reggie Bullock would improve their defense and floor spacing, but those options may not even be on the table if Kristaps Porzingis has to play the four.