Over the summer and throughout training camp, the Dallas Mavericks stressed the importance of roster depth. So far in this young season, there has been a lot of pressure on the shoulders of German star Dirk Nowitzki and Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry. With teams focused on stopping the Mavericks’ two-man game, the weaknesses of the Dallas Mavericks have been exposed.
Jason Kidd has pushed the tempo, called the plays, and distributed the ball, but a lack of offensive weapons has taken a toll on one of the NBA’s greatest quarterbacks.
Luckily, Dallas spent the offseason adding pieces to the core of Nowitzki, Kidd, and Terry. The shopping spree brought in veterans Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, Tim Thomas, Kris Humphries, and rookie Rodrigue Beaubois.
Josh Howard continues rigorously to rehab his surgically repaired ankle after his return to the team lasted just three games before he was back on the sidelines.
Recently, center Erick Dampier became ill over the road trip in Detroit and has missed the last two contests.
Last year, Dallas did not have the supporting cast to pick up the slack when injuries kept core players out. However, one year later, the Mavericks turned the tables. Beaubois is starting for Howard, while Gooden handles the duties of center in Dampier’s absence. So far, the results have been very gratifying.
In four starts this season, Beaubois has been a quick, point-scoring starter, averaging 11 points and shooting 64 percent from the field, including 56 percent behind the arc.
Gooden brushed aside a slow, lackluster beginning to the season to make two consecutive starts for Erick Dampier. His hustle and hard work is apparent in the box score. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 12.5 rebounds over his last two starts.
“He’s had two monster games for us,” head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Monster games they were. The Mavericks are sure glad they signed a player of Gooden's caliber in the offseason.
Dallas faces San Antonio Wednesday night at home, the first of a three-game home stand. Marion is questionable after tweaking his left ankle on the first play against Milwaukee last night. However, another role player gets an opportunity to step up, as Tim Thomas is expected to make his season debut.
Injuries are something no team wants to deal with, but at least the Dallas Mavericks have the role players to come in and weather the storm.