Jason Kidd on Mavs shooting far fewer 3s than Rick Carlisle's offense:— Callie Caplan (@CallieCaplan) October 7, 2021
"We’re not just going to rely on jump shooting because that can leave you at any part of the season or in the playoffs. If that happens, you don’t have anything to fall back on, and that means an early exit."
This was after a game in which the Mavericks shot 30 times from behind the arc, down from their average of 38 per game last season. Against the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night, the Mavericks shot only 33 times from deep. It’s only two games, and preseason at that, so it’s too early to call this a trend.
But coupled with Kidd’s comment, it’s something worth keeping an eye on going forward. On the surface, it makes sense. Sometimes three pointers just don’t fall, and it’s good to have different ways to score. Each year, the teams that make it deeper in the playoffs tend to have more diverse offenses. They have more than one player who can create their own shot or, at the very least, make plays off the dribble.
The problem is the Mavericks, as constructed, can only play one way. They’re built to take three pointers off of all the attention Luka Doncic commands. If those shots don’t fall, the Mavericks struggle to score. And it’s not as simple as just asking players like Dorian Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. to create off the dribble. That’s not their game, and trying to make them play that way would be about as effective as all those missed three pointers.
Our own Josh Bowe brought this up last year (but two seasons ago...pandemic time warp) when the Mavericks were in the bubble. He pointed out that the Mavericks would keep shooting because the roster had no other way to play. And that roster hasn’t changed a bit. Here’s a key point from Josh:
If something isn’t working, do something else. That adjustment is key to winning basketball games, since things like shooting can come and go, even for the best shooters.
There’s just one problem with all that — this is who the Dallas Mavericks are. They just have to keep firing and hope for better results. There is really no Plan B for this team on the offensive end and that’s not a knock, so to speak, it’s just the way this specific team was designed.
It’s great that Kidd wants to diversify the Mavericks’ offense. But if he wants this roster to play a different way, it’s going to go poorly. You can’t take a Porsche off-roading at Moab. It wasn’t designed for that, and it wouldn’t end well.
If the Mavericks want to play a different way, they need to add different pieces to the roster. When there are guys on the court who can do more than shoot (perhaps a Slovenian guard currently playing in Canada), then Dallas can move away from shooting so many three pointers.