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Is Derek Fisher...helping?


The Dallas Mavericks lost 4 of the last 5 games they played before Derek Fisher became a Mav. Since then, they've won 4 of 5.

Some people, especially the kind of people who'd be into Derek Fisher, might say that that's all the math you need. "The guy's a winner," they might say. "It's in his DNA. For some reason, having winning DNA compensates for having a declining set of basketball skills that weren't that great to begin with."

Obviously it's not that simple. The four teams the Mavs lost to BF, or Before Fisher, were the Lakers, Sixers, Bulls and Warriors (in OT), whose combined 46-36 record would obviously be even higher if the Lakers were playing up to potential--as they did that night. The team they beat, the New York Knicks, have been this season's biggest surprise. Meanwhile, the four teams they beat since, Detroit, Phoenix, Houston and Sacramento are a delicious 30-55, which is probably most of what's going on here. And they were absolutely mauled by the Clippers.

Still, given how things looked for a while there, not being as bad as Phoenix, Sacramento and Detroit isn't nothing.

Here are some other Derek Fisher stats that might cause you to raise your eyebrows just a little bit, however.

In 5 games as a Maverick, Fish has failed to record a positive +/- only once, he is + 32, with 8 turnovers. Darren Collison, on the other hand, is a measly +4 over that span, with 12 TOs. Now, a lot of that comes from one game, in which Collison was -24, with 5 turnovers, and Fish was +2, with 1 TO--but isn't it interesting that in a game the Mavericks lost by 22, in which Fish played 21 minutes, he managed to have a positive +/-? The only Mav who did?

This is not only small sample size theater, it also couples a pretty decent stat (turnovers) with one of the least useful, most random stats out there (+/-). Collison has also continued to be a serviceable offensive player, putting up 11 on 50% shooting over the last 5,while Fisher has averaged 7.4 on...well, it's best you don't know. For what it's worth, Fisher has a 4.1 PER. He isn't lighting the world on fire.

On the other hand, the Mavericks have won the turnover battle in 3 of the 5 games he's played in, he himself has been a low turnover guy every game (so, for example, the 22 turnover debacle against the Clippers didn't have much to do with Fisher's 1 TO), he's not shooting horribly from three (5-12), and the Mavericks have outperformed the opponent when he's been on the court in all but one game.

We gotta paint a big wait and see on this one. Wait till the Mavericks play somebody good. And it's clear that Fisher is going to get ate up defensively, even if Chris Paul eats up a lot of younger, better players than Fisher on the regulars.

But if Fisher can keep turnovers down and hit the occasional three, as he has been doing, he will actually have value for this Mavericks team. So far, very tenuously, we can say, so good. But stay tuned.