DALLAS - A few years ago, when it became clear that the Golden State Warriors had a chance at being dynastic, we made the observation that one of the keys to their roster was what we termed “The Interchangeable Man.”
Those Warriors employed a bunch of guys with similar multi-dimensional skill sets, and even similar heights and body frames (within reasons). Force them to switch their attack, or offense or defense? Didn’t matter.
The switch gave you no edge.
“The Interchangeable Man” reigned.
It’s now a “thing.” Whether you are a team with championship pedigree (like Golden State) or a team building from the bottom (Oklahoma City) or a team somewhere in the middle (Dallas), you seek a lineup that is so versatile and interchangeable as to be beyond definition.
That’s why, as Mavs training camp begins, we are so encouraged to see once again that while Luka Doncic is “the point guard,” he’s really so much more than that.
And it’s why, as coach Jason Kidd takes charge, We are a little befuddled to see him so strictly defining what Kristaps Porzingis “is.”
And, for that matter, why Dwight Powell has been tabbed as the (right-now) 5.
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The Mavs are labeling KP “a 4,” and the only reason we can see for this is because KP likes the label. Because next thing you know out comes a photo that shows a maybe starting five …
But now comes our man Chuck Cooperstein featuring news of Powell being the first-team center.
In OKC, Mark Daigneault has joined us in reflecting on the Warriors during their title runs in which guys like Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green had the ability to help them play “position-less” and bring the ball up upon getting a rebound.
That’s how he wants the Thunder team to get good. Positionless with pace. That’s how the Warriors got great.
“One of the things that is evident is the teams that are the most formidable in the NBA are the teams with multiple ball-handlers,” said Daigneault.
As Oklahoma City continues to build a roster over the next few seasons around Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, it’s fair to wonder if they get something the Warriors proved, something Dallas needs to embrace: it’s not about egos or labels or titles - unless the “titles” we’re talking about are the ones Golden State cared about.
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