While Mark Cuban has received a fair amount of criticism for his off season "fails" the past two years, it looks as if his strategy of looking for low cost player to out perform expectations is paying dividends. Case in point: Gal Mekel, Jae Crowder, and DeJuan Blair all on minimum contracts.
Rookie Gal Mekel failed to really make much of an impact in preseason play, but in the first four games of the season he's shooting a respectable .53, .33 from three. But most encouraging is perhaps having an assist to turnover ratio of 2, good enough to rank 30th overall in the league. Granted, he's only averaging 16.3 MPG but these are exactly the type of numbers you want from a backup rookie PG. If he keeps up this type of production, it may be difficult for Devin Harris to crack the rotation at PG once he returns from injury (though he's likely pick up minutes at SG) and Shane Larkin might as well get used to watching from the sideline.
Any one who's watched the games so far has to be very impressed with Jae Crowder's performance. I must admit to being very leery of Crowder becoming a three point specialist after last year's .328 performance and his .313 preseason showing. But Crowder is streaking in a huge way early shooting an incredible .65, .71 from the three. Good enough to rank third in the league. And it should be noted the two players ahead of him combined for 9 attempts, Crowder has made 10 of 14. I don't think it's humanly possible to keep those numbers up, but it's clear he has vastly improved his three point shot.
And lastly, there's Spurs castoff DeJuan Blair who's hustle under the rim has paid off with him putting up career numbers so far averaging 9.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG, and 2.8 STL. Seeing him fight for boards is something the Mavs have been largely missing the last two seasons and it's a beautiful thing. Given Blair's performance so far, we may finally get to see Brandan Wright play his more natural position at PF once he returns.