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Wright has vote of one team veteran

2/7/2012

DALLAS -- Brandan Wright had no idea that when he entered Saturday's game at Cleveland with 6:48 to go in the third quarter he wouldn't come out again.

He made the most of his 29 total minutes in that game, with 11 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. While he played and played, backup center Ian Mahinmi, who has had an impressive season, sat and sat, registering his lone DNP-CD of the season.

It makes for an interesting situation entering Wednesday's game at Denver as to how coach Rick Carlisle will handle the center rotation.

If it were up to Jason Terry, Wright -- who has played in 14 of 25 games and has averaged 10.5 minutes a game -- would be in the rotation.

"I’ve already put my bid in for Brandan Wright," Terry said. "I’ve already expressed that he should play every night, whether it’s five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, but he has to play. I mean just because he’s an energy guy. For me, off the bench, he’s good with that unit that I have. He automatically gets the ball." Many on alley-oops from Terry.

Mahinmi's hot start (which has hit a bit of a wall over the last week) kept Wright, who has played mostly power foward and not center in his career, on the bench. Then the addition of Yi Jianlian added more competition.

But Wright has continually produced when given the opportunity.

"I appreciate Jet saying that," Wright said. "Jet is one of the guys that has taken me under his wing, trying to show me everything, trying to build something so we can do something special this year."

With really no minutes available at power forward, it's going to have to be center or bust for Wright and Yi on most nights. With Brendan Haywood seemingly entrenched as the starter and Mahinmi surely not on the outs as the primary backup, the competition for minutes at the 5 should be intense.

"I’m comfortable [at the 5] because one of my best strengths is I can finish around the basket," Wright said. "My length, jumping ability, athletic ability, I can jump over guys. That’s one of my best assets even though I like to play the 4, but playing the 5 is fine. You get good matchups, guys have trouble covering me and then on the defensive end I can block a lot of shots also."