What is it like to be a Western Conference Champion two years in-a-row with two different teams?
This center/power forward crosses the I-35 to the Dallas Mavericks from the San Antonio Spurs, this year’s Best of the West, who faced the Miami Heat, the 2012-13 NBA Finals Champions. Therefore, this 37th NBA 2009 Draft pick who joined the league as a Pittsburgh Panthers sophomore knows what the championship smells like and he could almost taste it.
Blair’s first three seasons of pro ball treated him well. During his rookie season, Blair was the only Spur to play all 82 games, including 23 starts. From 2010-11, he advanced to 65 starts out of the 81 that he played. He started in 62 games, a vast majority out of his 65 2011-12 appearances. He did not incur as much playing time throughout his last season with San Antonio, and when he was let go, he became a free agent.
With career per-36 minute averages of 14.1 points and 11.1 rebounds, Blair is a good addition to Dallas’ offense. He has a one-year contract, so he is ready to make his time in Mavericks nation worth their while, as well as showing the Spurs what they are missing out on as a valuable player when he faces his former fellow Texas team four times during the 2013-14 regular season. I anticipate “hard knock hardwood hoop rage,” as Blair could seek revenge on “Los Spurs.”
With the uncertainty of when Brandan Wright will return, Dallas counts on Blair to step up. Despite the “vertical challenge” of the 6-foot-7 C/PF, this “big man” still brings advantage to the Mavs.
So far with three games down with the Mavericks, Blair has done fairly well on the floor. He has put up four points in just over 10 minutes while hosting the New Orleans Pelicans in their preseason home opener, eight points in almost 15.5 minutes while visiting the Memphis Grizzlies in their first preseason road game after the Mavericks shot for less turnovers, and most recently nine points back at home against the Orlando Magic on Monday.
No. 45 can shine live tonight when the Mavs go to the Indiana Pacers, followed by this weekend at the Charlotte Bobcats. The more playing time that he will earn with the Mavs, the more potential he will maximize during this preseason, this promising regular season and a hopeful playoff run ahead.
As a communication specialist, I admire Blair’s conduct with the media because he does not hold back on taking initiative by providing candid answers in interviews and straight-up in-your-face tweets.
Just before he signed with the Mavs, Blair tweeted:
DALLAS WAT IT DO SALUTE!!!!
— DeJuan Blair (@DeJuan45) August 6, 2013
We MFFL (Mavs Fans for Life) likewise salute this champion who plays with heart. As long as Blair remains aggressive on offense, his same no-fear attitude will work in his favor on the court.