Dallas Mavericks: Analyzing the Center Rotation

The Dallas Mavericks have a solid and set rotation outside of the center position. Luka Doncic is a superstar, while Jalen Brunson is one of the better back-ups in the league. Tim Hardaway Jr and Reggie Bullock give the team plenty of options from shooting to defense. Dorian Finney-Smith is another strong “three-and-d” option. Up front is where things get messy. The messiness is not for a lack of talent, but an influx of one which makes it difficult to determine who plays when and where.

The Complicated Dallas Mavericks Center Rotation

The Four and the Five

Two Mavericks who will feature at the four and five are Maxi Kleber and Kristaps Porzingis.

Kleber is a utility tool in a way – he’s very athletic, a tough defender, and can stretch the floor. All these traits make him a weapon at both the four and five. His athleticism and defensive tenacity, however, are best suited for the four. This, of course, is because he’d feature as the primary defender versus the league’s top power forwards. This includes Giannis AntetokounmpoZion WilliamsonJohn Collins, and other athletic forwards. The benefit of using him at the five is his ability to drain threes. To be better trusted at the five, Kleber will have to improve his rebounding.

Porzingis is the most important factor (outside of Doncic) on the Mavericks. If he elevates his play, the Mavericks are a legitimate title contender. His former healthy self can do it all from high-flying dunks and blocks, elite rebounding, and limitless shooting range. He’s spent most of his career at the four, which has turned out well. On this Mavericks roster, he fits quite well at the five. A pick-and-roll combo with Doncic has unlimited potential, whereas Porzingis’s skill set makes him hard to defend for opposing fives. He needs to improve on his post-play to truly unlock the Mavericks’ potential, however. In addition, Porzingis needs to show his defensive tenacity of the past.

Four Centers on the Dallas Mavericks

Yes, that’s right. Outside of Porzingis and Kleber, the Mavericks have four other centers on the roster. This includes Dwight PowellWillie Cauley-Stein, Moses Brown, and Boban Marjanovic.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Powell get the most minutes in this group. He’s a longtime Maverick, leader, and just a solid player overall. His athleticism seems second-to-none and is back after his torn Achilles. He’s an excellent pick-and-roll partner to Doncic. Powell, however, often struggles defensively and with rebounding.

Cauley-Stein plays similarly to Powell. He’s a high-flying rim-runner, so there’s always the potential for outstanding alley-oops while he’s on the floor. He also needs to improve defensively, but Cauley-Stein, for the most part, is a solid post defender.

Brown’s impact will be interesting. While on the lowly rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder, Brown averaged 8.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. This also came on barely over 20 minutes on the floor. Brown is also just 21-years-old. He’ll start out lower on the depth chart, but has the most talent and potential in this rotation. New Head Coach Jason Kidd will be tasked with the job of allowing Brown to realize his full potential.

The last player is Marjanovic. He’s a fan favorite and will always find his way into the rotation. His sheer size makes him a match-up problem, as seen in the Mavericks’ playoff fight versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Marjanovic won’t always play, but he’s the perfect weapon versus certain teams and match-ups. He’s also a leader on the team.

Expect Powell to feature the most early on, but for Brown to make a name for himself.

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