For One Game, Antoine Wright Fills Terry's Shoes

In the first game without Terry, Wright showed he was up to the challenge.

It's been an up-and-down season for Antoine Wright

After winning the starting shooting guard spot out of training camp, he started just two games before being relegated to the bench.  It took nearly 30 games, many of which saw he never saw the floor, before he won the spot back on a regular basis, but it finally appears that his name may be getting penned into the starting lineup.

In last night's blowout win over the Sacrament Kings, Wright really made a statement. Without Terry's 20 points per game available off the bench, Antoine Wright stepped up and took a larger role offensively.  Often attacking the basket or working in the post, Wright attempted 14 field goals. 

It was his second highest total of the season and it resulted in his second highest scoring game. 

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In the end, Wright scored 23 points in 24 minutes to finish tied with Josh Howard for the team lead in scoring. His 23 points were 17 more than his season average, which almost single-handedly displaced Terry's absence.

It wasn't just the 23 points that made it a great game, but it was how he scored them. 

According to 82games.com, only two teams in the NBA attempt less "inside shots" per game than the Mavericks.  Wright is often the exception to that, and last night 10 of his 14 field goal attempts were of the "inside shot" variety.  It helped him get to the free throw line where he went 6-6. 

If Dallas had a player able to score inside on a regular basis then a whole new dimension would be added to the Mavs offense making the job a lot more difficult for opposing defenses.  Antoine Wright has shown he has the potential to be that guy, and Rick Carlise took notice after the win over the Kings.

"Antoine Wright gave us a lot tonight -- both defensively and offensively in the post," said Carlisle.

For one night, Wright was the player Dallas desperately needs.  If he can do it regularly, then Dallas should have no problems winning games while Jason Terry recovers.

Wes Cox is a Dallas based blogger who covers the Mavs on a regular basis at www.mavsmoneyball.com.

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