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News » Being called for traveling With the Mavs his seventh stop, Gooden knows transition game

Being called for traveling With the Mavs his seventh stop, Gooden knows transition game

Being called for traveling With the Mavs his seventh stop, Gooden knows transition game It's business as usual for Drew Gooden this fall, which is to say there is nothing usual about it.

A new season, a new team, a new system and a new chance to be on a big winner.

It never gets old because Gooden never seems to stick around long enough for it to get old. The Mavericks are his seventh team in eight seasons. He's lasted more than 100 games with a team only once - when he put in 3 1/2 seasons with Cleveland.

That was a meaningful part of his career, by the way. It included a trip to the NBA Finals in 2007, when Gooden started every game for the Cavaliers in the playoffs.

That's part of why the Mavericks were hot to sign him this summer. And while Gooden is used to learning new routines, he said arriving in Dallas isn't quite the shock to his system that some of the other stops have been.

"This is my career,'' he said. "It's how it's always been - adjusting and transitioning and picking up new stuff. But it's a great group of guys. And a lot of the stuff here is the same as we ran with Mike Brown at Cleveland because Mike was under Rick [Carlisle] at Indiana. So a lot of the stuff I'm familiar with. It was an easy transition.

"Hey, I've done it all.''

Which is a curse and an asset, considering Gooden is only 28 years old. He's learned three positions in the league, starting as a small forward, playing power forward mostly for Cleveland and being utilized at center in his last few stops.

In the preseason opener against Orlando and Dwight Howard, Gooden held his own, made a few of his step-back jumpers and attacked the glass for rebounds. In 23 minutes, he had 18 points and six rebounds.

"He can score, he can rebound, he's a good defender,'' Carlisle said. "He's played at the highest level. He's started in the Finals a couple years ago. He's been in the spotlight, and he showed some of the things he can bring to our team.''

Throughout his career, Gooden has been more of an offensive threat than Erick Dampier, who will split time with Gooden in the pivot. And the Mavericks have longed for a middle man who can make the defense pay attention to him if he slides away from the basket.

But the Mavericks also want defense, shot-blocking and pick-setting out of the center spot, which is more in Dampier's wheelhouse.

"Our center position is going to be by committee,'' Carlisle said. "It's going to be [Gooden] and Damp. [Shawn] Marion will play center at times, Kris Humphries, Tim Thomas - we got a lot of different guys who can play there. Each guy brings a little different dimension.

"But when Drew is out there with that first group, he's got to give us solid defense, rebounding and he's got to give us mid-range shot-making, because those kind of shots are going to be there against bigger centers.''

Briefly: The Mavericks had a lively practice Wednesday that featured some scrimmage time. ... Josh Howard (left ankle) is on schedule to return to action later in the preseason but probably won't start scrimmaging for another week, Mavs officials said. ... Tim Thomas (knee) could be cleared to start contact drills soon. ... The Mavericks play the Wizards on Friday night.



Day Date Opponent TV Time

Fri 9 at Washington HDNet 6:00

Sun 11 Memphis HDNet 6:00

Thu 15 Detroit HDNet 7:30

Sat 17 Cleveland Ch. 21 7:30

Tue 20 at Cleveland* HDNet 6:30

Fri 23 at Houston Ch. 21 7:30

* at Pittsburgh

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 9, 2009


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