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News » Sixth man gets some help off the bench Experienced depth gives Mavericks' reserves extra firepower to back up Terry


Sixth man gets some help off the bench Experienced depth gives Mavericks' reserves extra firepower to back up Terry


Sixth man gets some help off the bench Experienced depth gives Mavericks' reserves extra firepower to back up Terry Jason Terry already made it clear he wants to repeat as the NBA's sixth man of the year.

That might be tough as the Mavericks' seventh man.

That's why the 6-2 guard is making sure Rick Carlisle doesn't forget about him now that improved depth surrounds Terry and the starting five.

"No doubt, I'm going to be looking at coach, making sure he pulls me off of there first, so I can keep my status," Terry said.

There will be times, with foul problems or matchups or whatever, when Terry won't be the first Maverick off the bench. But he'll still occupy that role most of the time. Unlike last season, he won't do so as the lone ringer among the support troops.

"Not at all," Terry said. "Last year, guys that filled the positions off the bench were young and inexperienced. Now you bring in experienced guys that have been through the battles. It'll help.

"I thought that's what we were looking for going into the off-season, realizing that one of our weaknesses last year was overall depth. And I think we addressed that right away."

It's a change Terry welcomes. While the Mavericks claimed they liked their bench brigade last season, turns out they were fibbing. They approached the off-season knowing that they couldn't have mostly young players flanking Terry on the pine.

So in came Drew Gooden, Tim Thomas and Quinton Ross, all of whom have at least five years of NBA experience and have seen playoff battles. They will be bench contributors, though Gooden will start at times.

"Our summer was dedicated to getting better," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We feel our bench is stronger and we can guard people and make shots. That's the idea. We weren't going to get better just sitting around."

Carlisle said when Erick Dampier starts at center, Gooden will provide scoring punch off the bench. Reserve Kris Humphries also has shown consistency and the ability to put the ball in the basket.

In the backcourt, Terry and Ross, along with a year-older J.J. Barea and Matt Carroll, are expected to have an impact offensively.

All that should relieve the unreliable nature of the bench last season. Owner Mark Cuban saw the Mavericks build too many early leads with the starters on the floor, only to see them evaporate on the occasions Terry wasn't lighting up the scoreboard.

"We had some younger kids who were out to prove they belonged in the league as opposed to [thinking] how could they make the team better," Cuban said. "This year, we've got a lot of guys who everybody knows can play. ... And I think that makes all the difference. You just see there's a lot more trust, rather than uncertainty."

Terry is thankful for the help. He also sees something familiar in this team.

"This is the structure," he said. "Look at us three years ago when we went to the Finals. We were a deep team. We had guys with experience off the bench and who contributed nightly.

"Starters can carry you, but only so far in an 82-game season. You're going to need your bench."

Day in camp

Work to be done: The Mavericks didn't arrive back to Dallas from Friday night's game in Washington until the early hours of Saturday morning.

The players were given the rest of the day off, but will convene for a morning shootaround in advance of Memphis' visit to American Airlines Center tonight.

There is no shortage of problem areas, coach Rick Carlisle said, especially since the Mavericks have surrendered an average of 112.5 points in their first two preseason games. That Washington scored 115 points and is the opponent for the regular-season opener in 16 days is even greater cause for concern.

"We have some areas we have to get better at, no question," Carlisle said. "Defensively, we made some mistakes in the first half late in the shot clock, and we've got to remedy those because this is going to be an opportunistic team. We did some good things, but we've got a lot of work to do."

Making the most of plays: Jason Kidd said Shawn Marion's first preseason game showed him exactly what he remembered Marion being able to do when the pair played together a decade ago for Phoenix.

"We might have run two plays for him and he was 11-of-15," Kidd said. "Getting loose balls, tip-ins, keeping balls alive - he just makes the game easy."

6 p.m. today (HD Net)


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 13, 2009

 

 
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