Though the Dallas Mavericks were largely disappointing as they missed out on the playoffs in the 2012-13 NBA season, one of the solid things that they saw from their team last year was veteran guard Vince Carter dipping into the fountain of youth a bit and becoming a reliable and productive sixth man for the Mavs.
In his 15th season in the league, Carter appeared in 81 games for the Mavs, with almost all of his time coming as a reserve. After a disappointing year with Dallas the prior season, Carter improved to average 13.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting a solid 43.5 percent from the floor and 40.6 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Coming into the 2013-14 season, though, there were quite a few people that believed that the 36-year-old might show a decline in his skills this year from last season. Though the Mavs have only played one game, a 118-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, Carter looks to pick up where he left off last season.
Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki both had big nights for the Mavericks in their season-opener, but it was Carter’s play off of the bench that really helped to spark the victory. In 25 minutes of action, the veteran finished the game with 21 points, four rebounds and two assists while shooting 9-16 from the floor and 2-5 from long-range.
To be a key part of this Mavericks team this season, Carter doesn’t need to score 21 points per game or anything, but if he can consistently provide offense off of the bench, it’s going to be huge for Dallas. The Mavs aren’t going to be great defensively this season, to put it kindly, but if they can keep up this kind of offensive production from their starters and their reserves, the Mavs will certainly be an exciting and intriguing team to watch this year.