For the past couple of months, head coach Rick Carlisle has emphasized the importance of defense on the Mavericks team.
“I don’t see much change in the team’s drawing, but I think we need to improve a couple of elements,” Carlisle said. “I think we can really improve defense. I think we were in our twentieth defense league at the beginning of the year (according to statistics), now we’re around 14th or 15th. Our goal is to be in the Top 10. We’d like to get there!”
Before going to the NBA “bubble”, the team paid a lot of attention to defense.
“We felt that in these circumstances, it would be important to focus on defense and penalty shots,” the coach admitted. “First defense, then penalty shots.”
Defending for most of the season has not disturbed the coach at night, because the team’s attack has been really fantastic. Lots of three-point shots, good accuracy – the dream of modern basketball analysts. Despite the great Mavericks attack, Carlisle Orlando sees it as an opportunity for the team to improve their defense. It will be a valuable opportunity!
A four-month vacation will definitely benefit the team. Dallas had played 67 games and had many microtraumas. Free time has helped to freshen up and thus improve performance in defense.
“Defense is mostly a job and a bit of skill,” admits striker Dorian Finley Smith.
“It’s mindset,” says match manager Delon Wright.
“It’s a part of basketball that doesn’t require talent,” said American Tim Hardard, a junior. “You have to work hard and show dedication on your side of the field.”
“I think the defense in general is the question,‘ Do you want to play in defense? ’You just have to force yourself,” said team center Max Kleber.
Of course, the Texas club’s main weapon for the rest of the season will be attack, not play on its side of the field.
There are positive features in the protection of the Mavericks. For example, the Latvian Unicorn is very good at stopping danger by blocking opponents’ throws. The ringer in this element is currently the fifth best in the entire league with an average of 2.1 blocked shots per game. His influence on defense is not fully reflected in the statistical columns. It was often highlighted by the team’s head coach during the season.
Klebers and Porziņģis are very successful in helping team members with protection (help defense), preventing team members’ mistakes.
Given that the number of long players in the “bubble” of the team is limited, it will be important that Porziņģis does not collect many notes, because in order for the Dallas defense to be respectable, they need a Liepaja player on the field and not on the bench.
Delon Raits is the team’s best outside line player.
“When players talk about defense as will, not talent, Wright is a great example,” admits The Athletic reviewer.
From the first year he joined the Mavericks, Dorian Finley-Smith’s main priority was not attack but defense. Reads passing lines well, helps to catch balls a lot and is a good one-on-one defense.
Most likely, Luka Dončičs, Hārdavejs, Sets Karijs and Porziņģis will play the main roles in the attack in the continuation of the season, but Writs, Finijs-Smith and Klebers will do the defense of black work.