Maybe you’ve been sitting around between pickup games, bored, watching other people play, and you’ve wondered—which Dallas Mavericks players would be the best at pickup basketball?
You might think the answer is obvious. The best players would be the best for pickup. And maybe that would be true for full-court, 5-on-5 basketball. But what about 3-on-3 (the best version of pickup, of course), or 2-on-2? Which retired players would fit best together?
Okay, maybe you’re normal and just think about your next game. But I’ve been thinking about it all summer, and came up with some fun and sometimes weird Mavericks pickup combos. Check them out below. Disagree? Drop your own in the comments. It’s August, let’s get weird:
Best current Mavericks for 3-on-3
Luka Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber are the three current Mavericks you’d want for a 3-on-3 game. Doncic needs no explanation. Finney-Smith provides perimeter defense and shooting. Kleber can handle any bigs you come across, plus shooting, and can hold his own on the perimeter. This would be a tough squad to score against, and a nightmare to defend shooting-wise.
Best for 2-on-2
Jason Terry can create his own shot and hit ridiculous shots from deep. Shawn Marion can defend guards and bigs alike. Putting the two of them together means a combo that guard most players while creating on offense. Anyone big enough to bully Marion on the block wouldn’t be able to keep up with him on defense. Meanwhile Terry could bomb from behind the arc and set up Marion for easy buckets. It would be fun to watch them, and scary to face them.
Best 2000s Mavericks for 3-on-3
Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Josh Howard would be a fun trio. Dirk could score from anywhere, with Kidd dishing out dimes and Howard slashing to the basket. Kidd and Howard would take care of the defense, and Dirk...well, Dirk could hold his own. He’s tall and can protect the rim a little. Picture a Dirk-Kidd pick-and-roll with Howard cutting along the baseline. It would be beautiful.
Best 90s Mavericks for 3-on-3
You know I had to include Kidd, Jamal Mashburn, and Jim Jackson here. Sure, they never won big together in the NBA. But in a 3-on-3 tournament? They’d probably kill it.
Best all big man 3-on-3 lineup
Picture this—you step on the court with two of your friends and see Dirk, Kristaps Porzingis, and Raef LaFrentz standing across from you. They’re raining down 3-pointers on you and you can’t get a shot off from anywhere due to their height and length. Your best chance is to be quick and get into space to get your shot off, because agility is not their strength.
Best all-time for 5-on-5
If you have Luka, Michael Finley, Howard, Dirk, and Tyson Chandler as your five for pickup, you’re going to win a lot of games. Luka can score and dish out dimes. Finley can create from the perimeter. Howard can slash and defend. Dirk can be one of the greatest power forwards of all-time. Chandler can lock down the rim and roll to the hoop on offense. Forget about pickup, that’s a team that could win 65 games year after year in the NBA. Let’s fire up the time machine and make it happen.