The Dallas Mavericks offense has been underwhelming, and that's putting it nicely. They are 25th in points per game and 17th in offensive rating, and the historic offense fans enjoyed in the 2019-20 season seems to be a thing of the past.
There are many different things to point to as the reason behind their poor offensive play. COVID/injuries, poor shooting, and a new head coach have played a significant factor in the Mavs rough offense, but there's a bigger problem causing the team's sputtering offense.
Biggest thing holding the Dallas Mavericks offense back
The Mavericks play too many big lineups. They start Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell, then bring on guys like Moses Brown, Willie Cauley Stein, and Boban in spot minutes. Two of them usually share the court, making the offense look a little slow and outdated. When the Mavs had a historic offense a few years ago, they played a lot of minutes with KP at the five and Dorian or Maxi at the four.
Spreading the floor to give Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic room to do what they do best as drivers would open the offense up more for shooters.
The Mavericks have struggled to hit open shots for a lot of the year, but that should improve when the team is healthy and whole again. Guys like Reggie Bullock, Tim Hardaway Jr., Kristaps Porzingis, and many others will begin to average out, and the shooting from deep will look much better.
The concept of playing two bigs makes little sense for a team that shoots as many threes as the Mavs, especially when the big men not named KP don't shoot 3-pointers.
I've also seen the argument that the Cavaliers have found success using two or three bigs at once, so the Mavs could as well. The difference is Cleveland has better players at those positions, and they don't take as many threes as Dallas. They are 17th in 3-pointers attempted per game, while the Mavs are eighth.
One offensive improvement this year is Porzingis and his effectiveness with the increase in touches. Removing the extra big makes KP even more of a matchup problem. He can still get his looks on the low block and dominate there, but now instead of being guarded by quicker fours, he gets matched up with slower centers to use his ability to put the ball on the floor.
If the Dallas Mavericks want to get back to being one of the league's best offenses, playing smaller lineups is a path Jason Kidd needs to explore. Playing two true bigs at once for a team that shoots a lot of threes seems counterproductive, and it is holding the offense back.
Coach Kidd has done an excellent job so far, but he needs to fix this team's offensive issues, and playing fewer lineups with two big men would go a long way to doing that.