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Monday, January 30, 2012
Vince Carter: 'I'm starting to feel comfortable'

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS – If Vince Carter keeps playing like this, he’ll be one of the better bargains in the NBA this season.

The eight-time All-Star came to Dallas for the $3 million mini-midlevel exception and a lot of questions about how he’d fit with the Mavericks. The answer: He’ll fit however the Mavs need.

Carter has bounced between the bench and the starting shooting guard spot but has been a consistent contributor even though he struggled with his shooting early in the season.

“He makes good things happen for us offensively and defensively he’s been pretty solid,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s a major weapon for us, a big part of what we’re doing.”

The Mavs are getting a good idea lately of just how much Carter can help them.

After scoring a season-high 21 points in Sunday’s win over the Spurs, Carter is averaging 14.2 points on 57.1 percent shooting in his last five games. That’s a span that includes a five-game layoff due to a sprained right foot, but that didn’t interrupt the rhythm Carter established before going down.

“I’m starting to feel comfortable,” said Carter, who was 8-of-15 from the floor against the Spurs. “I take pride in trying to learn the offense and learn a couple positions. It’s getting easier and easier and I’m getting more comfortable. And it helps that I can finally make a shot.”