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Kevin Willis the Maverick?

This big news today is obvious although not official. Kevin Willis had his first practice with the team yestery and will have a second today. Practice number one was apparently good enough.

Willis went through a 45-minute workout with coach Avery Johnson on Thursday. He'll be back today for another workout and could be signed to a 10-day contract and possibly be in uniform for tonight's game against New York, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said.

"He was impressive for what we're looking for," said Nelson, who added that no deal has been struck. "It's potentially a fit."
Avery Johnson was pleased with what he saw as well.
"I'd say it's 50-50, but he had a really good workout," Johnson said. "We'll see what happens."
So it sounds like we'll be seeing Kevin Willis in the Mavs warmups pretty soon, and I'm fine with it. Am I exited? Well, it's hard to get very excited when your team signs a 44 year old who has been out of the game for two years.

This does make sense though. Given the option of Kevin Willis or nobody, I'll take Kevin Willis every time. There was no point in having the empty roster spot, and with no DJ Mbenga as a "just-in-case", a adding a big body is close to a no-brainer. So if Willis is fit enough to play 8 minutes if really needed, then bring him on.

I was against brining in Reggie Miller because it would have felt like a side show -- a semi-celebrity just latching on for a ring and inevitably becoming a distraction along the way. It's the opposite with Willis. He has a ring. He's a good locker room guy. And he's boring enough that it won't cause anybody to lose focus. (And that includes sports writers. I didn't want to be reading Reggie Miller articles every morning)


Sefko has a surprising Stackhouse stat.
"Unselfish, leadership, toughness, assists - yeah, that one," Johnson said. "And we've only gotten in one fight this year, compared to five last year. That's taken a lot of stress off of me."

The assists are of particular interest to the Mavericks. Since their 14-7 start, they have gone 46-4. In that span, they are 19-1 in games when Stackhouse has had three or more assists.

"The guy doesn't get enough credit," Johnson said. "The way he's passing the ball is great."

Jeff Caplan writes about the Mavs being focused solely on the playoffs.


Tim Cowlishaw looks forward to the playoffs, eyeing potential matchups, and says that a path of Denver > Houston > Phoenix > Cleveland would be the most difficult.