Dallas Mavericks Found A Gem In DeJuan Blair

By Andrew Duffy
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure they say, and that couldn’t be proven more true than in the case of DeJuan Blair. Blair joined the Dallas Mavericks this offseason after being cast off by the San Antonio Spurs.

For whatever reason, Blair had fallen out of favor with Spurs head coach Greg Popovich and had lost his spot in the rotation to Tiago Splitter. When he wasn’t re-signed by San Antonio he accepted a minimum salary deal with the Mavericks, and through just 10 games he has made an enormous impact and is already stealing some minutes away from current starting center Samuel Dalembert.

Blair is exactly the type of player coach Rick Carlisle loves. He’s very physical and doesn’t make many mental mistakes. Most of all he’s the kind of guy who is always giving 100 percent of his effort and seems to get every loose ball anywhere in his vicinity.

So far, Blair’s stats per 36 minutes are astronomical and show just how much he warrants extra time on the floor. Per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 16.1 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.6 steals. He’s only playing just over 21 minutes per game right now, but that can be expected to continue to climb as long as he continues to perform at this level. Per 36 numbers aren’t always a great indicator of what will happen if the player were to play more, but it still shows how effective he’s been playing.

It would be a bit surprising if Blair managed to take away the starting role from Dalembert, but at the rate he’s going coach Carlisle won’t have any choice but to give it to him. And as coach Carlisle has proven time and time again, he’s not afraid to play whichever player is the most deserving.

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