Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Ellington earning role with Dallas Mavericks


They say that the third time is the charm, for the Dallas Mavericks, they hope that’s true in regards to Wayne Ellington.

Ellington has found himself back in the Rick Carlisle’s lineup during the team’s last five games (4-1) after tallying just 19 minutes during the team’s previous six games.

Ellington’s name surfaced during the NBA Trade Deadline, where the Mavericks elected to stand pat and roll with the roster currently assembled.

Ellington’s previous two stints in the lineup haven’t gone as planned, as well as his season. When the Mavericks originally inked Ellington during the offseason, he was slatted to be the team’s starting shooting guard prior to the team gambling on Monta Ellis. After inking Ellis, the Mavericks were expecting Ellington to be a key role player off the bench.

Well, that hasn’t worked out for the former North Carolina Tar-Heel. Early into the season he saw his minutes taken away by the combination of Jae Crowder and rookies Gal Mekel and Shane Larkin (depending on which rookie was in the rotation).

Carlisle constantly reminds his players to stay ready, and during a four game stretch in mid-January, Ellington stayed ready. In those four games, Ellington averaged just 14 minutes (1 DNP-CD), but showed why the Mavericks brought him in as he hit 5 of 8 shots from 3 (62.5%). Even with his improving performance, Ellington found himself out of the rotation. This time because of Devin Harris making his anticipated return coinciding with his hot streak.

After the Mavericks fell to the Miami Heat 117-106, Carlisle decided it was time for a change in the lineup. Ellington was now playing over the player who replaced him (Crowder).

Over the last five games, Ellington has averaged 6.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, and most importantly is shooting 55% from the field and 42.9% from 3 in 14.8 minutes of action.

With Vince Carter and Devin Harris manning the perimeter and Brandan Wright and DeJuan Blair platooning inside, Ellington is the perfect complimentary piece to spread the court for his other Mavericks’ teammates.

Even though the Mavericks were quiet at the trade deadline, an improved and consistent Ellington can be viewed as a nice midseason pickup.

Here’s to hoping that Wayne Ellington can continue to “Make It Wayne” as he bombs away from 3.

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