DALLAS — To begin the 2021-22 regular season, the Dallas Mavericks intend to start Dwight Powell at the center position alongside Kristaps Porzingis in the frontcourt.
On a recent appearance on the "Take Dat Wit You" podcast hosted by Mark Followill and Brian Dameris, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd shared insight into his declaration of Dwight Powell as the starting center.
Kidd made it clear that Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Tim Hardaway Jr. each desired for Powell to start at the center position.
"I asked them who they want at the starting five, and they all said DP," Kidd said.
There are undoubtedly clear limitations that are posed by having Powell on the floor alongside Porzingis. The lack of mobility and rim protection on defense is an issue along with some spacing concerns when Powell plays off the ball.
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Teams are unable to get away with playing two-big lineups in today's NBA unless there is significant versatility on both ends from each player. The Mavericks just do not have that at their disposal with Powell.
The rim-running he provides with Luka Doncic is quite helpful, but his limitations as a rim protector and on-ball defender out in space make for a difficult set of circumstances alongside another big man.
By deploying Powell as a starter, the Mavericks are not going to exclusively stick with two big-man lineup combinations. Porzingis will slide over to the five at times — potentially in key moments such as part of closing lineups.
There is no shortage of changes that occur for teams throughout an NBA season. It's important to refrain too much from putting extensive stock into personnel decisions that are made before Game 1 of 82 even tips off.
While there are both pros and cons that come with any personnel choice, one fact is clear — Jason Kidd is listening to the insights his key players can provide.