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Areas Of Strength
In Rick Carlisle the Mavericks are operating with perhaps the best tactician in the entire league. Few coaches can match his in-game abilities when it comes to making adjustments and taking away the things a team relies on during the course of a season. It might not show in their record in recent seasons, but Carlisle is still at the top of his game when it comes to preparation and game planning. When he’s got a healthy and stout roster, he makes the Mavericks one of the most difficult teams to deal with in the entire league. He doesn’t have a young Dirk Nowitzki as the catalyst anymore, so it’s been a bit of a struggle as the Mavericks try and transition to the next phase. But Carlisle gives them a foundational piece to work from.
Dennis Smith looked like the heir apparent to Dirk’s throne in Dallas during his rookie season. He showed flashes of brilliance and didn’t shy away from the hard coaching from Carlisle or the big-game moments he faced without much a buffer during his inaugural campaign running the show. But he shouldn’t have to be “the man” on a roster with Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews already in place. The veterans on the roster need to pick Smith up during his sophomore season if and when he hits rough patches.
Two Stats That Matter
27 percent -- The Mavs took only 27 percent of their shots in the restricted area. That was up from 23 percent in 2016-17, but it was still the third straight season in which the Mavs registered the lowest rate in the league.
19.1 -- The Mavs outscored their opponents by 19.1 points per 100 possessions in 326 total minutes with J.J. Barea, Yogi Ferrell, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwight Powell on the floor with either Devin Harris or Doug McDermott.
-- John Schuhmann
The Way To Go
Just like last year, the Mavericks have an opportunity to select another young franchise cornerstone to go along with Smith. They’ve got the point guard position taken care of, so the Mavericks can spend their time focusing on players like Jarren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr. and Michael Porter. Now if Luka Doncic ends up falling into their hands at No. 5, the Mavericks won’t be able to pass up the player many people believe could be the next generation’s version of Dirk.
2017-18 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 104.1 (23rd)
Defensive: 107.4 (18th)
G: Dennis Smith
G: JJ Barea
G: Kyle Collinsworth
G: Jalen Jones
F: Dorian Finney-Smith
F: Harrison Barnes
F: Jonathan Motley
F: Maxi Kleber
C/F: Dwight Powell
G: Seth Curry (unrestricted)
G: Yogi Ferrell (restricted)
G: Aaron Harrison (unrestricted)
G/F: Wesley Matthews (player option)
F: Doug McDermott (restricted)
F/C: Nerlens Noel (unrestricted)
C: Salah Mejri (restricted)
C/F: Dirk Nowitzki (team option)
Recent Draft History
2017: Dennis Smith (9)
2016: A.J. Hammons (46)
2015: Justin Anderson (21); Satnam Singh (52)
2013: Kelly Olynyk (13), traded to Boston; Mike Muscala (44), traded to Atlanta
2012: Tyler Zeller (17) traded to Cleveland, Darius Johnson-Odom (55) traded to Lakers
-- Sekou Smith