With the departure of Shawn Marion to Cleveland and the additions of several new Mavericks, it’s time to ask the question: “Who will replace the Matrix on the defensive end?”.
We know Chandler Parsons is the Mavs’ starting small forward and is one of the rising stars in the NBA, but he is mostly known for his versatile offense. Who will be the best wing defender on this team? While there is no one who will be able to match the sheer defensive talent that Marion had for locking down the other teams best player, someone will have to try.
In my eyes, there are only 2 players that could be the Mavericks next lock-down defender. Those players are Jae Crowder and Al-Farouq Aminu. Each one of these players has his pros and cons, but one of them will have to step up to the challenge and become the defender that the Mavericks need.
Jae Crowder is a quality defender. This past season, Crowder was Shawn Marion’s back up and was normally given the task of guarding the opposing team’s best wing player when Marion was on the bench. He can defend multiple positions and is very disciplined in his craft. Being that Crowder has the most experience in Rick Carlisle’s defensive system, he will most likely be the player tasked with Marion’s old duties at the beginning of the season, but that doesn’t mean he will remain in that position.
The next option is Al-Farouq Aminu. Even though he is only 23, Aminu is debatably one of the best wing defenders in the NBA. He can defend multiple positions and has the size to guard stretch power forwards. Last season for the Pelicans, he was called upon to guard whomever the opposing team’s best player was, including the likes of Kevin Durant, Lebron James, and Carmelo Anthony. Even though he only averaged .5 blocks and 1 steal per game last season, he was ranked 6th in defending pick and roll ball handlers and only let up an average of .53 points per possession.
With all this being said, all of these players will have the chance to showcase what they can do and make a case for why they should be given the duties that the Matrix once held. While no one will be able to fully replace Shawn Marion, I have faith that these players will do a great job and will help bring the Mavericks to new heights.