Rick Carlisle wants the Dallas Mavericks to be tougher this season.
The man for the job is… DeJuan Blair?
Coach Rick Carlisle says so, speaking at Blair’s introductory press conference, as reported by ESPNDallas.com.
“DeJuan was a really important acquisition for us because Elton Brand didn’t return,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “We need that physical (butt)-kicker to put out there and be an enforcer for us.”
Make no mistake, Blair is physical and plays tough inside. I’m not sure I’d go with enforcer, but he’ll bring a physical presence. He and Samuel Dalembert will have to be the tough guys in the paint.
Dallas is counting on Blair to grab boards — which he does well, on his career he has a rebound rate 17.8 percent (percent of rebounds he grabs when on the court) — and play defense. Blair is a good if somewhat undersized defender.
With a team that has Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion, plus guys like Monta Ellis and Vince Carter not exactly known for their defense, it’s going to take some big play inside to balance that out.
We’ll see if Blair can live up to that standard.