Since Devin Harris returned to the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 18, the Mavericks bench has averaged 42 points a game; which is good enough for third in the NBA. Against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night, the bench scored 44 of Dallas’ 113 points.
The Mavs have several starters that can put up numbers night in and night out. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 21.8 points per game while Monta Ellis is putting in 19 a game. This type of production is needed out of the bench for the Mavs.
Head coach Rick Carlisle is trying to keep the minutes down of veteran players like Nowitzki and Shawn Marion. Because of this, it’s important for players like Vince Carter, DeJuan Blair and Harris to step up and make the most of their playing opportunity.
The nice part about the bench play from the Mavs is that every night someone could be the hero in the game. It could be Harris leading the team in scoring, or Blair making his presence known on the defensive end. Every night it seems to be that way too. Against the Pistons, Jae Crowder didn’t even play. He’s usually one of those players that comes off the bench and helps to provide a spark for the team.
At 11 games over .500 Dallas is only a half game behind the Phoenix Suns for the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. If Dallas continues to get production out of its bench like it has been, expect to see it moving up the ladder in the playoff chase.