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Mavericks: Why is Dallas struggling when Luka Doncic is on the floor?

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luka Doncic is struggling because Dallas Mavericks starting lineup has performed poorly

New head coach Jason Kidd made it clear that he wants Kristaps Porzingis playing the four during training camp, so the team landed on a starting Dwight Powell at the five next to Luka, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Tim Hardaway Jr.

The Mavs have been awful with that group on the floor through 11 games. They have been outscored by 28 points in their 75 minutes of action and are shooting just 38.4 percent from the field as a group, according to NBA Stats. The five has produced an offensive rating of 93.5 and a defensive rating of 11.6 for a negative 18.1 net rating, which is the 19th worst mark in the league among five-man lineups that have played at least 20 minutes thus far.

Teams are packing the paint to stop Luka Doncic, which limits Powell’s effectiveness rolling to the basket. They are daring Dorian Finney-Smith and DP to make shots if they are on the perimeter, and they are failing to convert open looks.

On the defensive end, the Mavericks are struggling to guard with KP and Powell sharing the court. Both struggle on the perimeter, and they cannot both strictly defend the paint.

The Dallas Mavericks need to switch it up, but they lack better options. They do not want to play Porzingis at the five because of the physical toll it will take on him. Willie Cauley-Stein and Boban Marjanovic are inconsistent making Powell the logical choice to start until a roster upgrade is made.