Fresh Fit: Vince Carter in crunch time?

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
11:57
AM CT
Our weekly look at Mavs newcomers:

Vince Carter’s role in the Mavs’ revamped, Lamar Odom-less rotation is clear. He comes off the bench at small forward, allowing Shawn Marion to slide to power forward when Dirk Nowitzki comes off the floor.

The question is whether Carter or Marion will join the Mavs’ closer committee of Nowitzki, Jason Kidd and Jason Terry during crunch time.

Coach Rick Carlisle’s answer in Utah was Carter, who played every minute during the fourth quarter and three overtime periods. That put three of the four most prolific active fourth-quarter scorers on the floor for the Mavs, as only Kobe Bryant has more career buckets in the final frame than Nowitzki, Terry and Carter. Carter also ranks below only Bryant and Nowitzki for game-winning shots made among active players.

Of course, it should be noted that the 35-year-old Carter’s production has dipped the most by far of that closer quartet.

Carter hit a couple of big shots – a pair of 3-pointers that were critical in forcing the first overtime – but those were the only shots he hit in the fourth quarter and overtimes of the loss to the Jazz. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ most valuable defender watched from the bench.

Carlisle, as tends to be the case, was vague about the reasoning for his decision to play Carter instead of Marion with the game on the line. He mentioned that Carter was playing well, leaving out the fact that Marion didn’t appear to have much in the tank, registering only four points and two rebounds in 23:51 during the Mavs’ fourth game in five nights.

Carlisle’s decision also could have been influenced by the Jazz’s lack of an elite wing scorer. It’s hard to envision Carlisle opting for Carter over Marion in crunch time when Dallas needs to defend someone like Bryant, Manu Ginobili or Kevin Durant during the first round of the playoffs.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Rick Carlisle

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.

Galloway & Company: Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Mark Cuban talk

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: The Standoff

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Ramona Shelburne

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.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Buy or sell

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.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Marc Stein

ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Dalembert 6.8
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksS. Dalembert 1.2