Where Brandan Wright doesn't fit
"If we do play them [in the first round], if it goes the way we’ve been playing this year, I guess I will be a non-factor," Wright said. "But, we’ll figure something out. We’ve got smart people around here."
Wright has blossomed into a productive backup center for the Mavs, on some nights eclipsing the playing time of not only Ian Mahinmi, but Brendan Haywood, too. That's not the case when Dallas faces the large front line of the Lakers that features 7-foot, 285-pound Andrew Bynum in the middle and flanked by 7-foot Pau Gasol.
Over the last 13 games, Wright, a 6-10 power forward converted to center in the Mavs' system, has averaged 29.1 minutes in 10 of them. In the other three he averaged 4.7 minutes. Those were games against Orlando, Memphis and Sunday's game against the Lakers.
The common thread? Big men. Really big.
"We like what he brings obviously, but to guard Bynum, he’s a little too light in the pants," Nowitzki said of the 210-pound Wright. "Bynum’s got him by at least 40 or 50 pounds, so that’s a tough matchup for him."
Wright's limited minutes in Sunday's 112-108 overtime loss to the Kobe-less Lakers, came mostly when Bynum took a seat. Midway through the fourth quarter, Wright shared the court with Bynum and fouled him for an and-1 and moments later gave up a massive, two-handed putback slam.
"We were in a zone both times," Wright said. "We had some confusion."
Next up is tonight's game at the Utah Jazz and 6-10, 289-pound center Al Jefferson. The teams last met in January before Wright began to emerge as rotation player. He's logged three minutes against the Jazz.
"Whenever I’ve played, I’ve been productive," Wright said. "If I’m on the floor, I’ll be productive. I’m not really worried about the matchup. I've just got to find a way to make some plays. But, other matchups are better at the 5. We’ll see what happens."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.