Carlisle: Emphasis on defense
The offseason moves made it evident that improving on the defensive end was a focus for the Mavericks, as Rick Carlisle noted today. “We made a lot of changes to the roster. Big emphasis this coming season is to get better defensively, Carlisle said.
“It’s the mentality of becoming a better defensive team. It’s great to be the very best at something as we were last year, we were the best offensive team in the history of the game in a points per possession basis but we’ve got to raise the level of our defense and we feel with some of the changes we’ve made and also the way we’re going to approach things, we’re going to put a great emphasis on the defensive end.”
Acquiring the likes of Josh Richardson and James Johnson via trade and drafting Josh Green in the first round, the Mavericks have added several bodies who add toughness and defensive prowess to the roster. As Carlisle mentioned, beefing up the team’s defense alongside the historic output from last year’s offense can and should catapult the Mavericks up the ranks from a 7-8 seed to a potential top 4 seed in the West.
J-Rich: An instant fan favorite
MFFL’s will love Josh Richardson. Period.
When speaking with the media today, J-Rich was as likeable as they come. Very insightful answers. Seems like a true delight to be around.
And he sounded excited to find himself in a Mavericks uniform.
“I kind of had an idea that something was going to happen but it was between a few teams so I wasn’t really sure but I’m really glad I ended up here,” Richardson said with a smile about landing in Dallas.
His first impression on the Mavericks? Luka and team chemistry.
“The first thing you see is Luka, one of the best player’s in the NBA. He’s a great engine for this team,” Richardson said. “For me, another thing that I looked is the guys genuinely like each other. Looks like they enjoy playing with each other and looks like they really play for each other.”
Richardson, as he said, brings “toughness, leadership, and defense” as well as calling himself a “gap-filler” which is exactly what the Mavericks needed alongside Luka. He really is a Swiss-Army knife of sorts as he can defense multiple positions as well as being a second playmaker on the offensive end.
“He's a high-level defensive player, which is something that we needed. We've been looking for a guy who can guard point guards and add scoring off the ball…He's a guy from afar who I've always thought would be a great fit with Luka Doncic,” Carlisle on Josh Richardson.
— Michael Mulford (@TheMulf) December 1, 2020
But, what the Mavs fans will love most is indeed the toughness, which fellow trade acquisition James Johnson will mirror as well. “I don’t take well to my brothers being messed with but I’m not an instigator…but I have no problem doing what needs to be done if people aren’t being treated right,” Josh Richardson on being one of Luka’s “protectors.”
Inject that quote into your veins, MFFL’s.
Doncic: “A lot of shooting”
Luka is 21-years-old and already one of the best player’s in the league and arguably the MVP favorite for the 2020-2021 season.
But the grind doesn’t stop. And if there was one area that Doncic needed to polish up, it’s his shooting, whether that’s from the deep or the charity stripe.
And Doncic knows it.
“Worked on everything, especially shooting,” Doncic said.
Don’t let the dramatics and fan fare of his stepback fool you, Luka’s shooting needs a tune up, shooting just under 32% from three last season. Now, we’re not asking him to be Steph Curry, or even former Maverick Seth Curry from deep (though that would be lovely), but just a few ticks higher at 36%-38% and it’s a wrap, folks.
“A lot of shooting…just a lot of shooting.”
A lot of shooting is good, Luka. Work on that flamethrower.
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