Dallas Mavericks

Don't Look Now, But Your Dallas Mavericks Have a Decent Center

Can't remember the last time Erick Dampier had 12 points on perfect shooting and 13 rebounds in a win over an elite opponent. I'm sure it happened, but not nearly enough.

That's why, in part, Dampier was traded in the off-season for Tyson Chandler. The positive effects for the Dallas Mavericks are already tangible.

Take last night's gritty win over the Boston Celtics, for example.

Sure Jason Terry was big off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki hit the game-winning jumper with 17 seconds remaining. Ho. And hum.

But the biggest defensive plays were made by the Mavs' starting center. That's not a misprint.

With the Mavs down two points Chandler blocked a driving shot by Paul Pierce and also picked up a steal against Boston's Rajon Rondo. With Chandler anchoring the defense, the Mavs stopped the Celtics on seven consecutive possessions down the stretch.

It's still November, but with consistency from its center we'll all feel better about this team come April.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt