The Death Lineup Countdown continues with the Dallas Mavericks coming in at number 27.
The Mavericks two big additions this offseason were DeAndre Jordan via free agency and Luke Doncic via draft and trade. Usually, teams drafting in the top five of the draft need a lot more than a draft pick and a free agent to move the needle enough to be relevant.
This team has the starting lineup to be competitive but not much depth in the frontcourt. Dirk is most likely in his final season and its not like Jordan is a spring chicken anymore. The Mavs have a chance to make some noise but will more than likely be picking in the top 5 of the draft again next summer.
Unless Carlisle gets creative and brings Dirk in as the backup to DeAndre, Dallas will be rolling out a more traditional line up this season. Starting a rookie, albeit the MVP of the second best league in the world, and a sophomore in the backcourt is sure to bring about growing pains. Cuban is one or two years away from being playoff contenders again.
Projected Starting Lineup
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Dennis Smith Jr.
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Dirk Nowitzki
C: DeAndre Jordan
Not much to say about this lineup other than it has some name recognition to it. It has a chance to an average lineup, but Dirk isn’t going to be able to guard anyone he is matched up against.
Projected Death Lineup
PG: J.J. Barea
SG: Dennis Smith Jr.
SF: Wesley Matthews
PF: Luka Doncic
C: Harrison Barnes
This line up has some major advantages tied to some major disadvantages. For starters, Doncic being an all-world playmaker at the 4 is a beautiful thing for team basketball. Also, having Barnes at the 5 creates all kinds of mismatches on both ends of the floor in favor of the Mavs.
The problem is that Matthews is a shell of his Portland days. Also, referring back to what makes a death lineup a death lineup, this lineup is desperate for length on the wings. J.J. Barea offers nothing in that department and not much regarding defense either. Really, outside of Barnes, and possibly Matthews, defense will be hard to come by with this lineup.
While this death lineup could be fun to watch at times, it will be overpowered by most other lineups throughout the league.