Al-Farouq Aminu Seizing Opportunity for Mavericks


Rick Carlisle’s rotation changes more than a teenaged girl with a new wardrobe. Al-Farouq Aminu has found that out first hand, as the fifth-year forward has seen his minutes fluctuate greatly throughout his first year in Dallas.

He averaged 17.1 minutes per in his first 20 games, then 10.1 minutes per game his next 20 with five “Did Not Play – Coaches Decision”s.

Now Aminu appears to be back in Carlisle’s good graces, and he can thank himself, as his strong play as of late has given his head coach no choice but to provide him with court time.

More from Mavs News

Aminu has snatched back many of the minutes that had been going to fellow reserve Richard Jefferson by providing tremendous energy and an all-around skill set. He had one more DNP-CD against Chicago but in his last nine games Aminu has averaged almost 19 minutes, 6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.4 blocks.

His highlight game came against the Houston Rockets, when he scored 10 points, grabbed seven boards, had three steals and blocked six shots.

It all seems to be coming together for Aminu at a good time for the Mavericks. He’s turning his energy into results and becoming an important contributor for the second unit as the Mavericks try to replace some of what was lost via trade earlier in the season. Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder could be counted on to provide athleticism, hustle plays, and a defensive presence off the bench before being traded away to Boston in the deal that netted Rajon Rondo.

Feb 2, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Al-Farouq Aminu (7) dunks the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Now those responsibilities fall squarely on the shoulders of the 24-year old Aminu. He’s a solid rebounder and the Mavericks’ best perimeter defender, but it’s his athleticism in the open floor that really adds another element to the bench. Richard Jefferson used to be a high-flyer, but Father Time is undefeated and the 34-year old doesn’t get up quite like he used to.

Aminu had two dunks in transition last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, including a rim-rattling slam off of a lob from Raymond Felton. He showed off on defense, too, chasing down probable Rookie of the Year winner Andrew Wiggins to swat away his lay-up attempt on the break.

Aminu stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks. Check out his highlights:

If he can keep this up Aminu will likely become a staple in Carlisle’s rotation. Though not a great outside shooter, I think we’d all like to see more of Aminu and less of Jefferson.

Next: Should the Mavericks Look Into Andray Blatche?

More from The Smoking Cuban