The Smoking Cuban

Mavericks: 5 takeaways from preseason opening win over Jazz

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks, Kristaps Porzingis / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks preseason opener vs. Jazz: 2. KP’s new role

Kristaps Porzingis and head coach Jason Kidd have both talked about the Unicorn playing a different role this season where he will have more freedom on offense. Fans remember former coach Rick Carlisle’s rant about post-ups, and he limited KP’s mid-range pull-ups as well. Porzingis will have the freedom to attack in those areas this season.

The first game of the experiment was hit and miss. KP was stripped on three post-ups opportunities as he had two turnovers, but he finished with seven points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks in 16 minutes of action. The 7’3 big man was two of six from the field, including one of four from 3-point range. It is too early to draw any conclusions, but it looks like Porzingis will get plenty of opportunities to shine this season.

KP struggled on the defensive end of the floor last season, but his lateral mobility looked better on Wednesday night. Porzingis had two blocks, which fans can see below.

The Dallas Mavericks need Kristaps Porzingis to be a force on the defensive end of the floor if they are going to take another step forward this season. It was a positive first outing in the preseason opener, but he needs to show it against stiffer competition. KP is the player to watch closest this preseason.