The Mavericks a respectable 10-8 through the first full month of the season, but it's also an injured team with players missing. Which one's absence has made the biggest impact?
The obvious guy is Jose Calderon, who suffered a bone bruise to his right ankle, missing the final portion of a game against the Atlanta Hawks and yesterday's match-up against the Minnesota Timberwolves. There's no mystery to his game or what he brings to this game, playing 17 games this year, but the past two games has shown just how important he is to a team with two rookie point guards trying to back him up.
Then we've got Brandan Wright, who might make a full return to practice this week. He's been out for six weeks with a fractured shoulder suffered before the season. In his past two seasons with the Mavericks, he's been a PER monster and an extremely good finisher around the rim, providing athleticism and some defense. He received extended playing time towards the end of last year and thrived in the role.
Signing for the veteran's minimum in a deal that many called the steal of the offseason, Devin Harris is a Maverick once again, even though he has yet to put on a jersey. His timetable is the most uncertain as he tried to recover from a dislocated left big toe, but the Mavericks hope to have him back in the calender year or early in January. He's a veteran point guard who can provide some stability, or shift over to shooting guard to spell Monta Ellis, perhaps limiting the times that Vince Carter is given the ball up top and asked to generate offense.
For fun, I'm going to throw in a fourth option -- an as-yet-to-be-acquired center. We all know the Mavericks have an affinity for playing the trade deadline, and their number one target this season will likely focus on bringing a center to Dallas. Dalembert has played well, but isn't quick or big enough to keep up with the physical giants that exist in the Western Conference, and DeJuan Blair is basically hopeless in that regard.
I guess another way to phrase this question: "If you could have one of those players back for the Mavericks next game, and only one, who is it?" If that helps. Anyway, vote below!