With Dallas Mavericks training camp starting up next week and the pre-season being about a week away, it’s time to wonder where players will fall on the final depth chart. With the 3-way fight for the starting point guard spot headlining this years camp, there is sure to be some key battles for multiple positions.
Starting Point Guard Battle
As all MFFL’s should know, Devin Harris, Raymond Felton, and Jameer Nelson are in a close-knit battle for the position of floor general. As of recently it seems as if Devin Harris will be backing up both the point guard and shooting guard positions so he will most likely not be the winner of this camp battle. Yesterday Eddie Sefko, a Mavericks beat writer, said that Jameer Nelson would be Dallas’ best option at point guard because of his ability to run a team in Orlando and his above average 3 point shooting that will keep defenses honest.
Winner: Jameer Nelson
Small Forward Battle
Obviously Chandler Parsons will be occupying the starting role at small forward, but what about his backups? Al-Farouq Aminu, Richard Jefferson, and Jae Crowder will all be fighting for minutes at the small forward position. Richard Jefferson seems like a viable option because of his veteran leadership and scoring ability, but Al-Farouq Aminu is a much more elevated player when it comes to defense. This decision might honestly come down to whoever Coach Carlisle needs in the game at the time.
Power Forward/Center Battle
This shouldn’t come as a shock, but Dirk Nowitzki will not have to fight for his starting job. With Tyson Chandler locking down the paint for the starting five, who will be their replacement off the bench? Brandan Wright may have the spot locked down for now, but with the recent acquisitions of Greg Smith and Charlie Villanueva, things might not be so sure. While it will have to take some significant performances to beat out Brandan Wright, I wouldn’t completely rule it out.
Ivan Johnson and Bernard James will both have their chance to prove why they deserve to have a spot on the roster. Based on Bernard James’ history with Mavericks and Coach Carlisle, he may have a slight edge. Ivan Johnson has put up the good numbers per minute in previous stops, but he didn’t play last season in the NBA which may make him a more questionable choice. Greg Smith and Brandan Wright are the youngest of the players and with his youth and quickness, as well as their ability to play the 4 and the 5 might give them the nod from Coach Carlisle before others. This battle will extend throughout training camp, and quite possibly the whole season which makes it one of the more interesting ones to follow. But for now…
Winner: Brandan Wright
All of these great battles show that the Mavericks will not have to worry about running out of quality players in any position. And hopefully training camp will give the players a serious competitive edge going into the season to prepare them for this years campaign. If all goes right, this year s going to be special.