DALLAS — Following his impressive season debut Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s no secret that the Dallas Mavericks hope to see more of 26-year-old big man Brandan Wright on the court.
Wright, who returned to game action after fracturing his left shoulder back on Oct. 8, quickly made up for lost time while leading the Mavericks (14-10) to a 106-93 victory. Still, even after his 19-point outing on 9-of-10 shooting in just less than 19 minutes of work, Wright isn’t satisfied as he sets his eyes on more ways to help the Mavs this season.
“I never put a goal in mind, but I don’t like missing shots overall. And the shot I missed I should have made that one also, so the goal is to be as perfect as I can,” a modest Wright said Tuesday following the Mavs’ team practice.
“We’ve got a pretty free-flowing offense,” he added. “[Mavs coach Rick Carlisle] doesn’t really call plays unless he needs to, and that’s my strength — just flowing around, screening, moving around, cutting, and pretty much doing whatever. I’m just using my strengths to my advantage. When I can play like that I can be very effective.”
Setting a goal for himself last season to shoot 62.5 percent from the field, Wright would end the 2012-13 campaign connecting on 59.7 percent of his shots. And after working to extend his shooting range, Wright began this season well ahead of that pace following Saturday night’s outing, entering with the same goal in mind.
Looking to utilize Wright’s strengths in a multitude of ways, Carlisle could feature the 6-foot-10 former North Carolina standout at both the center and power forward positions going forward. Although most of his time in Dallas has been spent at the 5 spot, Wright has also occasionally seen time at the 4 behind 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. That was also the case Saturday night, as the Mavs looked for ways to get Wright reintegrated while Nowitzki was sidelined due to an illness.
However, with the versatile Shawn Marion already occupying the bulk of the minutes as the backup power forward, Carlisle figures to continue showcasing the highflying Wright at center, adding an above-the-rim ability to the frontcourt that DeJuan Blair, Samuel Dalembert and Bernard James don’t possess.
“It’s possible he could get some minutes there,” Carlisle said of Wright being utilized at power forward. “He had a few (minutes) the other night. It’s going to depend on the situation. His best position has been center. And [Marion] has been playing most of the backup power forward minutes, but we’ll see how it develops. You know, I’m open to anything that helps us function up as a team, and it’s something that we’ve discussed. You know, we’ll see.
“There’s ways to play without a stretch 4. And we had some stretches last year where [Wright] played at 4, and so we’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility. I’m not sure how likely it is, but it’s a possibility.”
Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 111-89 home victory on Nov. 2. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.