As the Dallas Mavericks compete for one of the most competitive No. 8 seeds in NBA history, they’ve relied heavily on Vince Carter to provide veteran leadership and production to the team’s second lineup. While he is the team’s sixth man by assignment, coach Rick Carlisle still considers him one of Dallas’ most important players. This is evident by Carter’s defined role in the final minutes of close games. Carter is averaging nearly seven fourth-quarter minutes per game in 2013-2014, nearly two
Let’s play a quick game of “Name That Big Man”: Since the All Star Break (nine games), Player A, an All-Star, has averaged 19.0 points on 51.6% shooting in 33 minutes per game. Since the All Star Break (nine games), Player B, not an All-Star, has averaged 16.3 points on 51.3% shooting in 27 minutes per game.
When forward Mike Scott came to Atlanta Hawks training camp in 2012, he was labeled by then-coach Larry Drew as “a solid pick-and-roll option.” In other words, although Scott proved himself to be a legitimate offensive weapon in his five years at Virginia (medical redshirt in 2010), no one really expected him to develop into more than a decent midrange shooter at the next level.
Good news, everyone: It’s too early to be a downer about the Sixth Man race. While the candidates look admittedly boring today, we’re not even at the All-Star break yet. There are events coming in the not-so-distant future that will make this race exciting. For now, the candidates just seem disappointing because we’re still spoiled from last year’s perfect storm. In 2012-2013, we had J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford and Jarrett Jack dueling it out for the top spot on a weekly basis. They
When Deron Williams returned to the court on January 20th to face the Knicks after a five-game absence, coach Jason Kidd decided to take an unexpected gamble. Instead of reinserting the three-time All Star into the starting lineup, Kidd told Williams he would ease back into the rotation by coming off the bench.
After starting off the season atop the Sixth Man Rankings and quickly dropping out, Phoenix Suns forward Markieff Morris has climbed his way back into the top spot following consecutive weeks of efficient scoring. Despite playing the entire month of January without star point guard Eric Bledsoe – out indefinitely due to knee surgery – Phoenix still surprisingly stands seven games above .500. They are currently the seventh seed in a loaded Western Conference. Coach Jeff Hornacek is in his first year
Last month, while I was working on my Nick Young feature, I asked Wizards guard John Wall what he thought about two of his former teammates’ divergent yet equally successful paths to relevance in the NBA. At the time, of course, Young was enjoying the hottest and most efficient scoring tear of his professional career. Meanwhile, Jordan Crawford, who had essentially replaced Young as Washington’s volume scorer in 2012, had reinvented himself as a facilitating point guard with the Boston Celtics.