At 24-17, the 7th place Dallas Mavericks will finally welcome back guard Devin Harris against the Portland Trailblazers.
With half the season remaining the Mavericks will need everything Harris can offer. From his ability to attack the basket, run the offense, and defend both guard positions, Harris will have a role to get the Mavericks back into the playoffs.
The expectations won’t be the same for the 9-year veteran in his second go-around with the Mavericks. The Mavericks acquired the rights for speedy guard in 2005 draft to replace future Hall-Of-Famer Steve Nash. He won’t be expected to be the savior of the team this season, but instead will be asked to be a piece to the puzzle as the Mavericks push for a playoff run.
Don’t expect Harris to regain the starting spot he left behind when he was traded for Jason Kidd; instead expect him to finally bring stability to the second unit that Wayne Ellington and rookies Shane Larkin and Gal Mekel haven’t been able to.
With Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon holding the fort at the starting spots, Harris will be the third head of this trio guard attack.
A lot will be expected from Harris, who holds career averages of 12.8 points, 4.9 assists, and 1.2 steals, and rightfully so.
He’ll be asked to co-lead the second unit with Vince Carter. He’ll be asked to guard the opposing team’s best wing players. He’ll be asked to limit Ellis and Calderon’s minutes. Most importantly, he’ll be asked to help this team to get wins; something that the Mavericks need to lock a playoff spot.
Wether it’s fair or not to expect all of this from Harris in a span of 41 games, the Mavericks will need all he can offer.
For, no other reserve has the ability to play alongside BOTH Ellis and Calderon effectively.
No other reserve has the ability to guard both guard positions.
No other reserve has been a starting guard on a finals team.
And most importantly, no other reserve is Devin Harris.