Dirk Nowitzki remains the focal point for the Mavericks and while he’s slowed down in some ways, he’s handling the burden well, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. While the 37-year-old power forward can’t create off the dribble like he used to, he’s shooting over 50% from the field as well as on his 3-point attempts, MacMahon continues. Dallas has been unable the past four offseasons to make him their second-best player, MacMahon adds, but he’s still one of the league’s most efficient shooters. Nowitzki’s body has held up remarkably well over the years, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News points out, but the Mavs need to have a diverse attack with a variety of players taking big shots.
In other news around the Southwest Division:
- With his full complement of point guards available, interim Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff plans to juggle them in creative ways, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Patrick Beverley, Ty Lawson and Jason Terry will share the position and Bickerstaff will pair them up at times, Feigen adds. “I think we’re going to try to play those guys together,” Bickerstaff told Feigen. “We’re going to stick with our same starting lineup. We like the leadership Jet [Terry] brings with that first group. But then we’re going to bring those other guys in off the bench.”
- Doron Lamb, who was waived by the Mavericks during training camp in 2014, has signed with Buducnost in Montenegro, the team announced via Facebook (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). The Mavs had retained Lamb’s D-League rights by making him one of their affiliate players with NBA experience. Lamb previously played in the NBA with both the Bucks and Magic.
- Power forward Ryan Anderson is averaging more than 19 points a game but Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said his defense has been even more essential to his club, Jeff Zillgitt of USAToday.com reports. “Ryan’s really scoring the basketball. But where he’s really helped us is that he’s really improved defensively,” Gentry told reporters, including Zillgitt. “His rebounding and physicality that he plays with has been the things that have helped us the most.”