Last season, the Dallas Mavericks were tied for 11th place in three-point shooting. They shot 35 percent as a team with players such as Richard Jefferson and Chandler Parsons leading the assault from beyond the arc.
Though they struggled with three-point shooting at one point last season, they still had many other players such as J.J. Barea, Devin Harris and Dirk Nowitzki who were capable of hitting deep shots.
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In 2015-16, they are set to drastically improve their numbers. They shot roughly 25 three-pointers per game last season and connected about nine times. That’s good, but it could be better, and with the arrival of a few new players, like Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews and John Jenkins, the Mavs will be lethal from deep.
If you add them in to the mix with Mavs players that are already able to shoot three-pointers well (Barea, Harris, Parsons, Nowitzki, Charlie Villanueva) it becomes obvious that Dallas is going to be hot from deep next season. Looking at 2014-15 numbers, this is the list of players who can shoot threes well and will contribute to the team’s success next season:
- Deron Williams: 37%
- Wesley Matthews: 38%
- John Jenkins: 40%
- J.J. Barea: 32%
- Devin Harris: 36%
- Chandler Parsons: 38%
- Dirk Nowitzki: 38%
- Charlie Villanueva: 38%
Most of the positions listed above are player point guard or shooting guard but the Mavs have something unique: three-point shooting depth in their forwards. Dirk Nowitzki is obviously a great three-point shooter but Charlie Villanueva, after only playing 20 games in 2013-14, came to the Mavs with a chip on his shoulder.
He quickly became one of the Mavs best three-point shooters and most of his game revolved around hitting the deep ball. Just like that, the Mavs had two power forwards capable of hitting shots from deep.
Fortunately for the Mavs, they have that same kind of depth with their point guard and shooting guard positions (as mentioned above), which is something they will need considering the defense might not be too great again in 2015-16. Rookie Justin Anderson even looks like he could be decent at threes and proved that in the summer league.
In the NBA, and especially the Western Conference, any team looking to compete has to have plenty of three-point shooters. That was obvious last season when three out of the final four teams remaining in the playoffs were ranked in the top five of three-point percentage.
Since 2010, the Mavs have fallen out of the top 15 in league three-point percentage only once, which means that, besides having solid players, the coaching staff in Dallas is doing its best to take care of critical needs and they are helping the players develop. I expect that to be the case this next season too.
With so many talented three-point shooters, the Mavs should be able to help each other with certain techniques to get better.
With a new core of players who specialize on offense, the Mavs will be able to get close to the offensive heights that they reached last year before the Rajon Rondo trade. They had many snipers from long range as well as many who could score from mid-range.
Ever since Dirk Nowitzki joined the Mavs back in 1998, they have always been more offensive-based rather than defensive-based. They have shown the NBA some of the best offenses it has ever seen. With many new tools for 2015-16, you can expect them to be another exciting offensive team, especially from three-point range.
Credit: Cole Mentzel, Hoopshabit.com