Our weekly look at the Mavs newcomers:
DALLAS – The Lamar Odom saga continued Monday night when he followed up a miserable first half with a solid second half.
But the most encouraging thing that happened at power forward against the Suns occurred while Odom joined suit-sporting Dirk Nowitzki on the Mavericks’ bench.
Brandan Wright gave the Mavs eight minutes, 35 seconds of magnificently energetic basketball. The high-leaping former lottery pick with a minimum-salary deal scored five points and three rebounds, playing a key role in the Mavs outscoring the Suns by nine during his playing time.
Wright has consistently taken advantage of his inconsistent playing time. His per-36 minute stats this season: 22.2 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.6 steals.
Of course, the per-36 numbers are misleading because Wright’s minutes come in short bursts, often during garbage time. But they’re impressive enough to be intrigued.
The Mavs still have hope Odom will mesh with this team, although his Dallas stint has a distinct Antoine Walker feel to it so far. Newcomers Delonte West and Vince Carter (out now with a sprained left foot) have found their niches.
We’ll see whether Wright can earn a role. He’s making a case with the few minutes he gets.