Practice report: New Mav James hopes to add veteran leadership
Practice report (01/08/13)
New Mav James hopes to add veteran leadership
Tuesday, the Mavericks (13-22) announced that 37-year-old point guard Mike James had signed a 10-day contract with the club. And although the 10-year veteran wasn’t able to go through practice while he awaits his physical, James and Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle seem to have already carved up a role for the new addition to the youthful Dallas backcourt.
“Well, he’s a veteran. He’s played well the last couple of years in a couple of stops that he’s had. Played well in Chicago, had two really good games in the D-League, and so we’re going to take a look at him and see if he can help us. We think he might be able to,” Carlisle said of James’ addition.
Playing in 539 regular-season games during stints with Miami, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Houston, Toronto, Minnesota, New Orleans, Washington and Chicago, James holds career averages of 10.4 points, 3.6 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 24.9 minutes per game. Starring with the Raptors in the 2005-06 season, James posted 20.3 points and 5.8 assists an outing while starting 79 games.
Last season, he suited up in 11 games for Chicago in place of injured MVP Derrick Rose, before recently playing two games with the Mavs’ Development League affiliate, the Texas Legends, and averaging 18.5 points, 4.0 assists and 2.5 steals in 34.0 minutes.
Now, the scoring point guard will try to resurrect his career, hoping to help the Mavericks bring an end to their three-game losing streak Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“You know, just maturity, my wisdom and understanding of the game,” James said when asked what he believes he will bring to the table. “Where I can be big is in the locker room. I heard that a lot of the games that’s been lost have been lost at the end of the game, and so understanding time management and understanding where to get the ball to and how to make shots, especially at the end of the game. You know, we’ll see. Wherever Coach [Carlisle] places me. Whether he wants me to be on the bench and be somebody that’s going to be able to help the young players and young guards develop, well if that’s my job then I’m going to do that. … When I go in the game, I’ve got to be ready to make plays, however that is. And so, that’s mainly where I’m going to step in. The way I’ve been, that’s what I’m going to continue to keep being and just be myself.
“You know, they’ve got all the positions. They’ve got a good big man, they’ve got a great power forward. ... The team is a good team. It’s a good, veteran team with a mix of young guys, and I think that I can come in and just be able to help with my leadership more than anything else. And so I don’t really have to do much. All I’ve got to do is just play my role and play my position, and so that’s what I plan on doing. Just being a point guard, which I’ve done for my whole career.”
Note: The Mavericks will continue their road trip Wednesday night in Los Angeles for a second meeting against the Clippers. The Mavs fell to a 112-90 road loss to the Clippers back on Dec. 5. The game will air locally at 9:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest.