Harrison Barnes, Carlisle Discuss Potential Small Ball

With Harrison Barnes coming to Dallas, could the small ball, “death lineup” be coming to Dallas also?

When Kevin Durant chose to join the Golden State Warriors this past summer, Harrison Barnes instantly found himself on the open market looking for a new team. With money to spend, Dallas came calling with a max contract offer for the 24 year old.

With a max contract in hand, Barnes brings an added youthfulness to the starting unit with a defensive presence at the small forward spot that Dallas has lacked for years.

But arguably the biggest thing he brings to the table is the ability to play the small ball four spot.

In Golden State, the Warriors burst onto the scene of the NBA by rolling out what many called “The Death Lineup.” Andre Iguodala would be inserted into the small forward spot and Draymond Green would slide to the center spot. Thus making Harrison Barnes the stretch power forward.

They played up-tempo, brought defensive nightmares, and caused havoc offensively with their floor spacing. The league was caught off guard and Golden State took advantage of it.

Now Golden State has replaced Barnes with Kevin Durant in their small ball lineup and Barnes comes to Dallas where that style of play hasn’t been the staple like it was out West. Dallas experimented lightly with Chandler Parsons at the four, but was never able to have a healthy, consistent lineup they could use on a nightly basis.

Now, with the addition of Harrison Barnes and the emergence of Justin Anderson, Dallas could trout out their own small ball lineup.

Once Dallas handed Barnes a max contract with Anderson on the rise, whispers began to circulate about how much we could see Anderson and Barnes on the court together.

Rick Carlisle went as far as to confirm that on Media Day, but wouldn’t go into too much details.

The fact that Carlisle specifically mentioned the lineup at Media Day means that this looks to be a prominent lineup come this season. Harrison Barnes confirmed it when he took questions on the matter.

The real question is who plays the center position in this lineup?

Do they role out Andrew Bogut to hold down the paint or would that lineup be too offensively challenged? Do they role out Nowitzki at center and bank on the rest of the lineup to make up for his struggles defensively?

There is also the possibility of Dwight Powell or Quincy Acy taking minutes at center depending on how Carlisle likes the match-ups.

Either way, small looks to be coming to Dallas whether you like it or not. How the rest of the lineup and rotation plays out is something we simply have to wait and see.

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