Dallas Mavericks: There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Point Guards

Oct 14, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 14, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Deron Williams (8) handles the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) in the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks have one of the most solid point guard rotations in the NBA, and with their injury history, they’ll all likely get a chance to start this season.

The Dallas Mavericks have formed a legitimate three-man point guard rotation over the past three seasons.

In 2013, they brought Devin Harris back after he had spent the past five seasons with three different teams. In 2014, they brought back J.J. Barea, who had left for the Minnesota Timberwolves after the championship season in 2011.

Finally in 2015, they signed native Texan Deron Williams after he was bought out by the Brooklyn Nets.

While Harris never got a chance to start in 2015-16, Williams–the team’s primary starter–and Barea each got their shot.

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Williams averaged a steady 14.1 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game but he only played 65 games due to injury. Barea only started 16 games, but played some of his best basketball when he did, putting up seven 20-plus point games and one 32-point game.

Now why is this important? The biggest reason is because of how many injuries the team’s point guards suffered from last year.

Williams missed 17 games, Barea missed eight and Harris missed 18, which opened up the hole for Raymond Felton to take over as arguably the team’s best point guard for the final weeks of the season.

It’s a given that the trio of guards will likely struggle with injuries again this year and a couple of them are already having issues.

Harris, who has had foot injuries in the past, injured his foot against the Denver Nuggets in the preseason finale and will likely be out for a while. He’s played more than 70 games in a season just once since 2011-12.

Then there’s Barea, who has a sprained left elbow. While he is expected to play in the season opener, he will serve as two-thirds of the team’s point guard corps that is already suffering from some sort of injury before the regular season has even started.

Head coach Rick Carlisle had this to say on the team’s early injury issues (via Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com):

"“Well, if J.J. can’t go, then Curry is going to be our backup point, and we’re just going to have to figure out something,” Carlisle explained. “I knew that coming into this that we have some veteran guys that are in their 30s, and we have some fragility at that position. But we have four guys if you count Harris as a point guard, which he can do, but he really hasn’t played it the last three years. But if we’re down a couple of guys, we’re going to have to be resourceful and figure it out. It’s not an ideal situation, for sure.”"

As Carlisle stated, Seth Curry–one of the team’s newest signings–will slide into the backup point guard position, opening up a much bigger role for the fourth-year sharpshooter.

Curry put up a double-digit scoring effort in three of the team’s seven preseason games and had the highest points per game average on the team. He was easily one of the best players out there as he used his smooth shooting, creative passing and intriguing playmaking to make a difference while he was in the game.

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He broke out late last season when he averaged 16.4 points, 5.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds in the month of April while shooting 46 percent from the field and 49 percent from three.

That served as the first time in Curry’s NBA career that he had received a chance to prove himself and he made the most of it.

He’ll likely get another big chance to work as a sixth man once the regular season kicks off in Dallas.

So what does all this mean for the Mavs? Well first off, it goes to show that the the team’s strategy of building up their point guards is something necessary for success.

If they tried to run with just two–like some teams do–they would get into trouble when injuries came along.

But the best part of their strategy is the flexibility that the point guards on the team have. Curry, Barea and Harris are all capable of playing both guard positions, which means when they’re healthy, they can just slide one or two players up to balance the roster out.

The guard position has always provided much-needed depth for the Mavs. With the medical history of some of the players on this year’s roster, depth will be key to avoiding an injury problem during the middle of the season.

There’s truly no such thing as too many point guards for the Mavs.