Mavericks to learn how to play defense

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

The Dallas Mavericks are almost always one of the top scoring teams in the NBA. One thing they’ve never been known for, with exception of Tyson Chandler, is their defense. That statement even carries over to their new arrival, Chandler Parsons. Team owner Mark Cuban has taken notice this and feels its finally time to change that.

Cuban went as far to say that a number of his players have never even learned the basic principles of defense. That’s a pretty strong statement if I must say but not a surprise, defense isn’t on the minds of kids learning the game. They all want to be scorers.

The Mavericks will be focusing on their defense during training camp and Cuban is bringing in some help to do so. Cuban hired Jeremy Holsopple, a man without an official title, to help the guys with their side to side movements and their defensive stances.

Owner Mark Cuban said he noticed on film of Parsons and other Mavericks that they had never even been taught some basic defensive principles in their previous NBA stops.

“I’m going to give you a perfect example,” Cuban said. “We actually have Jeremy Holsopple, I don’t even know his official title. He works on explosiveness side to side – defensive stance, explosiveness, with bands, without bands, testing strength, working on different muscles that help you improve as a defender – whereas most teams don’t even work on the defensive stuff.”

It’s not just Parsons, though. Cuban said other players were lost on defense at some points in their career.

“Look, when you go back and look at the tape of some of the guys we brought in, Tyson excluded, and you just look at the defensive stance, they’ve never done it, right?” he said. “And so just working on those basics and improving their physical tools to allow them to get better is a big step forward.

“Guys maybe weren’t considered good defenders, but you give them a few more tools to be better. And look, the year we won it, it wasn’t like we had a great defensive unit. I think we’re smarter. I think we’re kind of risk-takers when it comes to different schemes defensively and we’ll come up with something.” (Dallas News)

Leave it up to Mark Cuban to be the inventive one and try some new tactics. Will it work though? That’s the big question.

If it does it could vault the Mavs to a legitimate championship contender. Even if it doesn’t it has to make them a little better which would still make them more of a contender because one thing won’t change. And that’s that the offense is going to score in bunches.

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