As the ramp up back to NBA action progresses, there’s a great deal of information to process. Our man Sam covered some of the most important numbers a while ago with some numbers to remember.
One part really sticks out to me: the largest minutes total for any Dallas Mavericks line up in 2019-20 is 205 total minutes and that line up features a guy who ended his season in January in Dwight Powell. The second most used line up has 122 minutes. That line up is Luka Doncic, Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway, Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, and Kristaps Porzingis.
Keep in mind that in the 2019-20 season to date, the Mavericks played 67 games. That comes out to exactly 3,216 total minutes. Their most used line up featuring active players comprises just 3.8% of the minutes in the entire season. Just look at some of the other five man line up data in the league. To get to this Mavericks line up, you have to click to page three. This is a long way of saying, we don’t really know how good this line up is.
Zach Lowe’s most recent column attempts to dissect this line up, which is a startling plus-30 in those 122 minutes.
The Mavs have poured in 123 points per 100 possessions with Porzingis as solo big, seven points better than their overall offense — on pace to be the most prolific of all time. Opponents can’t double Doncic and leave Porzingis to feast on open 3s, so they often switch. Doncic eats big men alive on those switches. It’s honestly kind of cruel. He steps out, sometimes literally licks his lips as if he’s about to devour a steak, and chooses between a step-back 3 and a burrowing drive.
It’s really worth reading the entire thing and getting a feel for some of the other top notch line ups in the league. He also uses some video to make his points.
Lowe gets into the broad data of Porzingis posting up on switches, how the defense has been better than one might think, and the rebounding from this specific group is sporadic at best.
Over all, this serves as a reminder that for as good as many of us believe the Mavericks might be, we don’t really know much. Think about that bolded line again. With KP as the solo big man, the Maverick offense is on a different plane of existence. It’s just one in a litany of data points that has me ready for basketball right this very second.