Can the Mavs deal with OKC’s pressure defense?
Oklahoma City is sporting one of the most tenacious defensive units in the league. They’re big, long, athletic, and versatile and flat out get after teams.
The Mavericks, mainly their two young ball handlers Luka and Dennis, will have a lot to deal with on that front.
It certainly isn’t the same Russell Westbrook-less squad that Luka and the Mavs took care of back in November. That team was a shell of the one we are looking at today.
If the Mavs can manage to be efficient on the offensive end, they should be able to effectively keep OKC out of transition where they thrive on offense.
Can they contain Paul George?
Paul George is operating at peak proficiency right now. A scary sight for a Wes Mathews-less Mavericks team.
Nobody thinks Wes by himself would eliminate Paul George from the game, but it certainly helps to have Wes and his scrappy perimeter defense against such a versatile offensive threat like Paul George, especially when he has had success against him in the past.
With great players like PG, you’re not going to shut them down completely. But if you can make them come by his honestly and effect his efficiency, then that should be considered a job well done. Will the Mavs be able to pull that off without Wes? It remains to be seen.
Will they be able to keep Steven Adams off the offensive glass?
The Mavericks most recent loss at the hands of the Pelicans came because of two things: 1. Missing free throws and 2. Their inability to secure rebounds. Two of the most elementary basketball fundamentals cost them a game.
And their reward for such performance? They get to host one of the very best offensive rebounders in he league.
Steven Adams resembles that of a superhero. And he MOVES folks when it’s time to go get the ball off the glass. DeAndre Jordan should be able to hold his own. It’s the bench unit, namely Dirk and Dwight that I am worried about. It will certainly be interesting to see if Carlisle decides to tweak his rotations to deal with adams.
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