Dallas Mavericks’ DeJuan Blair: Better Center To Start Since Oklahoma City Thunder Game

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

DeJuan Blair proved to play better off the bench than Dallas Mavericks starting center Samuel Dalembert when they visited the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night.

Mavs.com‘s Earl K. Sneed tweeted quite a bit about Blair during Dallas’ game at OKC, including things about his good reserve performance.

Sneed also gave kudos to Blair’s and reserve point guard Gal Mekel‘s chemistry as they entered the final quarter of regulation.

This NBA 2013 Western Conference champion straight from fellow world class and Southwest Division team from Texas, the San Antonio Spurs, pulled off eight points from 4-of-8 field goal attempts in under 20 minutes on the floor of the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Blair is of championship caliber, and I believe that he very well could replace Dalembert at the first five. Dalembert’s numbers were lower than his substitute against OKC: he scored six points from 3-of-10 shooting in over 24 minutes of playing time. His attempts are off-point, so he must practice shooting to score.

While the 2013-14 season is still young, with the Mavs at a 3-2 record following their fall to the Thunder, the comparison of these centers’ stats should call for a change in who starts as center. Dalembert averages eight points in 24.4 minutes per game, compared to Blair’s 9.2 points in 19.8 minutes per game.

Considering Dallas’ variety of experience among players, Blair is entering his fifth season in the league, while Dalembert has over a decade of pro ball under his belt. However, Blair is no stranger to the starting lineup. While with San Antonio, he started in over 60+ per season in the two that followed his rookie run.

Bearing in mind that Blair racks up more points in less time than Dalembert, he appeared in the most recent NBA Finals, and has starting experience, I think that the Mavericks ought to not just entertain the idea of having him start as center, but to, as Nike advertises: “Just Do It.” Dallas’ exchange of Dalembert for Blair at the starting lineup would be worth the shot.

Elaine Dispo is a Dallas Mavericks writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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