Dallas Mavericks: Markieff Morris

Can Carter build Sixth Man of Year case?

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
11:20
PM CT


DALLAS -- Want a sleeper candidate for Sixth Man of the Year? Take a look at the Dallas Mavericks’ old man.

If 37-year-old Vince Carter’s February foreshadows the rest of his regular season, the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year and eight-time All-Star should be considered for the award that recognizes the league’s most impactful reserve.

After all, the race is wide open if the Clippers’ Jamal Crawford ends up ineligible for the award because he plays more games as a starter than he does coming off the bench.

[+] EnlargeVince Carter
John Rhodes/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty ImageVince Carter followed a season-high, 23-point outing Monday in New York with a 17-point effort against the Pelicans on Wednesday.
The next leading bench scorers -- the Lakers’ Nick Young, Utah’s Alec Burks, Cleveland’s Dion Waiters and Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey -- are putting up numbers on poor teams.

Despite Carter’s slow start to the season, a case can be made that his name be included on a list of candidates, along with Phoenix’s Markieff Morris, Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson, Chicago’s Taj Gibson, Houston's Jeremy Lin and San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili.

His case will be stronger if the Mavs, who stand in sixth place in the Western Conference at the moment, keep winning.

“I’ll leave it to you guys to push that for me,” Carter said, chatting with a few reporters after scoring 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 22 minutes during Wednesday’s 108-89 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. That all came on the heels of his season-high 23-point performance in Monday's win against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

Carter has got a deal, as long as he holds up his end of the bargain.

He has to keep producing and contributing to the Mavs’ success like he has this month, when Carter has averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists during an 11-3 run by Dallas.

The Mavs have outscored opponents by an average of 8.7 points per game with Carter on the floor during that stretch. That gives Carter, who has flourished since a healthy Brandan Wright and Devin Harris were added to the Mavs’ bench, a plus-minus that’s the best on the team by almost two points per night during the team’s hot streak.

“Vince has been looking great,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “Really just coming in being instant offense, like he was last year, when he was probably our best player all season. Just having great rhythm.

“He’s been playing well, and you know we need him to score. He’s a playmaker for us, not only a shot-maker. We want him to run screen-and-rolls. We post him. He makes plays for other out of the pick-and-rolls, gets other guys open. We rely on him a lot, and he knows that. He’s been great.”

Can “Old Man, Occasionally Amazing” sustain that level of play?

“I can handle that,” said Carter, who replaced Jason Terry as the Mavs’ sixth man and embraced the role before last season. “I can do that. No problem, I can do that. I feel comfortable.

“When I get in the game, I know what’s expected of me, and I think more than anything, our chemistry is what’s elevating everyone’s game. It can happen.”

If Carter keeps rolling, he might have a Sixth Man of the Year case. And the Mavs will have a playoff berth.

Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 97, Suns 94

December, 7, 2012
12/07/12
12:37
AM CT

How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks put a dent in the Phoenix Suns’ pockets.

On a night deemed “Satisfaction Guaranteed” night -- where “good times” were guaranteed or fans could get their money back Thursday at U.S. Airways Center -- the short-handed Mavericks upset some fans in the second half.

Guard O.J. Mayo dropped 23 points on the night, including the game-winner against a team that failed in its bid to sign him in the offseason. He continued his sizzling start from behind the arc and made 3-of-5 3-pointers Thursday. Mayo also had five rebounds and five assists in 40 minutes.

The Mavericks were able to hold on to their second-half lead despite being shorthanded. Forward Shawn Marion and center Chris Kaman left with injuries in the second half and did not return. Marion strained his right groin in the third quarter, and Kaman sprained his left ankle in the fourth.

The Mavericks were down 44-40 at halftime but outscored the Suns 29-18 in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead into the final frame. They led by as many as 15 in the game but had to withstand a run from the Suns. The bench was a big part of the Mavs' success. Kaman scored 15 of Dallas' 53 points off the bench before leaving. Coach Rick Carlisle elected to bring Kaman and forward Jae Crowder off the bench and start forward Elton Brand and guard Dahntay Jones. Brand scored four points and grabbed seven boards in 27 minutes. Jones and Crowder were scoreless in a combined 29 minutes.

Center Brandan Wright stepped up with 16 points and a critical block down the stretch. Point guard Darren Collison scored 10 of his 16 points at the free-throw line and helped the Mavericks hang on down the stretch.

What it means: The Mavericks are now 2-3 on the second game back-to-backs this season. They’re 9-10 overall and 1-1 on their current three-game road trip.

Play of the game: Mayo came through in the clutch for the Mavericks. He drilled a heavily-contested 21-footer over Sebastian Telfair to give the Mavericks an 89-87 lead with 34.6 seconds left.

Stat of the night: Despite a career-high 17 boards from Markieff Morris, the Mavericks edged out the Suns on the glass, 44-42. It’s only the seventh time this season the Mavericks have outrebounded their opponent.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9