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Fresh Fit: Mavs need more from Vince Carter

4/10/2012

Our weekly look at the Mavs' newcomers:

DALLAS – The Mavs’ loss Saturday night in Memphis will always be remembered as the final game in the Lamar Odom error, er, era.

The Mavs hope that it’s also a meaningful game for their other high-profile post-lockout addition.

Vince Carter has been in a pretty nasty slump since the All-Star break, averaging 8.0 points on 36.3 percent shooting, significant dips from his pre-break numbers (10.9 points, 44.2 percent shooting). He had one of his most efficient offensive games in months against the Grizzlies, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He had a total of 14 points on 6-of-25 shooting in the Mavs’ other three games last week.

The Mavs, who rank 23rd in the league in points per possession, need much more of that from the 35-year-old Carter, a 20,000-plus-point career scorer who was signed in large part to take offensive pressure off of Dirk Nowitzki.

“That’s a positive sign,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Carter’s performance in Memphis. “The things you look at is who’s out there on the floor with him, matchups, other things. We’ll continue to look at it. He’s an important guy for us because he’s a spacer of the floor and he’s a guy that can make things happen in the post and things like that. He’s a vital part of this team.”