Dallas Mavericks: Predicting the Leader in Every Statistic
By Sam Casey/FanSided via The Smoking Cuban
As the Dallas Mavericks season is around the corner, who will lead the Mavs in the major statistics?
The Dallas Mavericks this season should look fairly different from the 2015-2016 squad, and the new faces should shake up the roles of this Dallas team. Some players who were role players will be asked to play a far bigger part, and some players won’t have the same impact that they used to. With that being said, lets predict who will be the Mavs leader in all the major statistics:
Season after season, day in day out, Dirk Nowitzki has led the Mavs in scoring, and this season will be no different. Dirk may be nearly 40 years old and entering his 19 season in the league, but he can still get buckets with the best of them. While the balance of scoring will be more even this season with the addition of Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews being completely healthy, Dirk will still be the focal point of the Mavs offense. I predict he will average 17.5 points a game this year, and two more ppg than any other Maverick.
Don’t hold your breaths for this one; surprise surprise the point guard will lead the team in assists. Deron Williams averaged 6 assists per game last year, and there is no reason that number should fall. Williams battled a few injuries last season that hurt his averages and impact on games. Look for him to be slightly more explosive and efficient this season as he leads a revamped Mavs offense. With 3 point shooters galore, Williams will have plenty of opportunities to drive and dish. I bet Deron Williams will average 7.2 assists this season, about one more than he did in his 2015-16 campaign.
Oct 14, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut (6) points up the court in the first half of the game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
To be a great rebounder you need to be big, tough, and have a great work ethic. All three of those things describe Andrew Bogut. Bogut averages 8.9 rebounds per game over his career, and while he may not quite reach that, he can be in the same ball park. The Mavs will need Bogut to not only be a defensive force in the paint, but on the boards as well. He is coming off of an injury and is 31 years old, so I imagine that his minutes will be relatively limited. Therefore, I believe Bogut will grab 7.8 rebounds per outing this season.
Field Goal Percentage
Rick Carlisle’s offense is built on efficiency. The Mavericks may not have the most dunks or ESPN top 10 highlights, but you can bet the bank they will have an efficient offense. One of the players who will be able to reap the rewards of an efficient offense with good ball movement and long range sharp-shooters is Andrew Bogut. There will be plenty of opportunities for put backs, dunks, and garbage points. Big men naturally have higher FG%’s as they play closer to the basket, therefore Bogut will be able to score at an efficient clip of 52%.
Wesley Matthews is a lockdown defender, but this season I think he will be able to expand his role defensively to making more plays and causing some turnovers. Last season Matthews averaged 1 steal per outing while being asked to guard the best opposing player every night, often times that being the PG or SF, not his true position. Now, with some defensive help from Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, and Justin Anderson, Matthews will be able to focus on his own position and make more plays. I predict that Wesley Matthews will average 1.4 steals per game.
My answer here may surprise some, but I don’t believe Andrew Bogut will lead the Mavericks in blocks. Despite the fact that he is a superb shot blocker, Bogut will likely have limited minutes for much of the season. Justin Anderson emerged as the Mavericks energizer late last season, often times bringing life to Dallas with his high flying dunks, and emphatic rejections. While Anderson only averaged .5 blocks per game last year, he also only received 12 minutes of court time per night. With Simba getting an expanded role this season, I believe he can lead the Mavericks in blocks averaging 1.7 per game.
Wesley Matthews led the Mavs in minutes last year with 33.9 per game, an incredible feat following an Achilles injury. However, with the emergence of Justin Anderson and acquisition of Harrison Barnes, that is due to change. Barnes is young and healthy, and Rick Carlisle has already spoken about using the Mavs new forward in both the SF and PF spot. Also, Harrison Barnes will be learning a new role this season, being a focal point of an offense. With this transition, the more practice he gets the better he will be. I expect Harrison Barnes will lead the Mavericks in minutes this season, averaging 33.8 minutes per game.