DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks have introduced a new option to the offense, or at least one that presents far greater opportunity than with any recent Mavs team.
The post-up is in high demand, from going down to Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, to Lamar Odom and Vince Carter, to even the Mavs' centers, Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi, getting into the act. Never has Dallas been so big and seemingly so versatile. Six games in they feel they are only scratching the surface with advantageous offensive options.
"You just have to find your spots," Carter said, "and I think now we’re starting to understand how we all play, each individual plays and how we can play as a team and how your role fits in the offense."
The 6-foot-6 Carter is playing shooting guard, but also getting time at small forward. Odom plays both forward positions, and in Monday's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was handling the ball as point forward and initiating the offense.
"Vince is a very good post player for his size and when he plays at the 2, he’s going to have a lot of mismatches and we want to get him down there when that happens," Dirk Nowitzki said. "He has a good fade away and he can go in the middle and get fouled and he does a good job of ripping through, getting to the basket or getting to the foul line and that will be big for us. Lamar is so versatile that he can attack in a lot of ways. He can post up or he can drive either way so if those guys attack for us it will make it a lot easier for me and Jet to score."
The ability to post-up multiple players that are also all good passers should be a significant weapon for a player like Carter coming off the bench. He can usually post up a smaller guard as he did in Monday's game when he took advantage of Eric Maynor. And if the shot isn't there, Carter, who scored a season-high 14 points is a good passer, and can find shooters like Jason Terry on the perimeter.
"It’s a part of his game we need," Terry said of Carter's post-up. "It’s going to be a strength of ours because when we come in there with that second unit, there’s going to be matchup problems. One of the problems they’re going to have is facing Vince Carter in the post with one of their smaller guards."