Fresh Fit: Vince Carter flourishes at small forward

March, 20, 2012
3/20/12
11:43
AM CT
Our weekly look at Mavs newcomers:

Shawn Marion's sore knee might have forced the Mavericks to give us a glimpse of Vince Carter's future.

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With Marion resting the last two games, Carter slid over to small forward and had a couple of solid performance. Carter averaged 12.0 points on 53.3 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the impressive wins over the Spurs and Nuggets.

The majority of Carter’s minutes this season have come at shooting guard, but that could be changing. When Delonte West returns – hopefully next week – the Mavs will have quite a logjam in the backcourt.

Rodrigue Beaubois has been in and out of the rotation this season, but he’s earned a role with his recent performance. West provides toughness and defensive intensity that the Mavs need, plus he has playmaking skills. You know sixth man Jason Terry will get his share of the minutes at shooting guard.

While West and Beaubois also play point guard, there just aren’t enough minutes at the 2 to go around when all the Mavs’ shooting guard options are healthy.

The Mavs don’t have such great depth at small forward, especially if Marion’s knee continues to bother him. Lamar Odom has struggled to make the transition from playing power forward in L.A. to getting minutes at both forward spots in Dallas. Carter has proven capable of being productive as a small forward.

Matching up against bigger wings takes away one of Carter’s best attributes, his post-up ability. However, he’ll have a quickness advantage against most small forwards and his 3-point shooting ability gives the Mavs a floor-spacer at that spot.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.5 4.6 1.1 32.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 10.4
AssistsM. Ellis 4.6
StealsD. Harris 1.3
BlocksB. Wright 1.5