Dallas Mavericks’ Bench Must Improve
The Dallas Mavericks have a group of starters that can score at will for the most part. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis have been a dangerous duo for Dallas so far this season, and Jose Calderon has proven that he can score at will during different parts of the game. Throw in Shawn Marion and you have a decent group of scorers for the Mavs.
The problem so far hasn’t been the starters, though, it’s been the play off the bench. You don’t have to look any further than the last two home games for Dallas either — both of which turned into losses. Against the Toronto Raptors, the Mavericks’ bench only scored 24 points, and 13 of them came from one player, Brandan Wright. Vince Carter only took one shot in 18 minutes of game time and had six turnovers in the overtime loss. Jae Crowder finished with five points in 14 minutes of play.
The game against the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 26 saw the bench score 28 points. However, they gave up 49 points to the Spurs’ bench, and the 28 points came from only two players. Carter scored 20 points off the bench while Samuel Dalembert scored the other eight points. Crowder, Gal Mekel and Shane Larkin were held scoreless in 28 minutes combined. Not only were they held scoreless, but they only attempted two shots between the three of them.
With some of the veteran players needing to keep their minutes down due to age, it’s important for the bench to step up and play better. So far, they haven’t done their job. If Dallas hopes to return to the playoffs they have to get more contributions from the play of the bench moving forward.