Mavs Lead

Broekhoff Nearing Bigger Role in Mavs’ Rotation?

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The Dallas Mavericks bench has been a surprise to most fans outside of Dallas. The team currently boasts the second-highest net rating in the NBA, and sit third in scoring with 116.8 points per game.

One foreign player has quickly become a fan favorite: Ryan Broekhoff.

Hailing from Australia, the 29-year-old sharpshooter is in the midst of his sophomore season in the NBA. After going undrafted in 2013, Broekhoff played with Besiktas in Turkey for two seasons, followed by a three-year stint with Lokomotiv Kuban in Russia.

When his contract was up there, he had his sights set on playing in the NBA. After a few workouts, the Mavericks took notice of the 6-foot-6 wing who shot 54/50/88 in his last professional season. As the story goes, former-Maverick Andrew Bogut — who’s also from Australia — sent a text message to Broekhoff saying that Mark Cuban was asking about him, even though he assumed it was just a prank.

The Mavericks shooting woes

The Mavericks finished 17th in 3-point percentage and fourth in attempts in the 2017-18 season. The 2018-19 season didn’t yield any kind of improvements. The team dropped to 27th in 3-point percentage while staying at fourth in attempts. This season, the team is singing to a different tune. Dallas currently sits sixth in 3-point percentage and second in attempts per game.

When Luka Doncic went down with an ankle injury, Broekhoff had only appeared in a handful of games. During a game against the Celtics, however, Broekhoff entered in the final minute. Within seconds he drained a three and gave fans a glimmer of hope that the team could pull off the upset. Although they went on to lose, fans were ecstatic that Broekhoff scored five points in 47 seconds.

Head coach Rick Carlisle’s rotations and minute distributions will forever puzzle fans. However, the injury to Doncic’s ankle opened up minutes for other guys in the rotation. In two of his last four games, Broekhoff has played over 17 minutes.

It’s clear that the team was trying new things with its leader out, and Broekhoff made an impression worthy of retaining minutes now that Doncic is back. Since Luka’s return, Broekhoff is playing six minutes and 33 seconds per game, higher than his average of five minutes and 19 seconds before the Doncic injury.

Cooking the books

What’s also clear is that Broekhoff has carved out a role on this team. Currently, he is shooting 50% from three, nailing 10 of his 20 attempts this season. On a team that needs more shooters, he has positioned himself well when called upon.

He’s also embraced the “accountant” moniker that fans have given him, and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously.

For the Mavericks to continue their success, the bench needs to stay reliable. As of right now, their shooting is much improved, but it still isn’t perfect. Broekhoff is primed for a bigger role, and with his ability to hit from deep on a consistent basis, it is in the Mavericks best interest to find him that bigger role.

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