Mavs banking on early offense from Butler

SAN ANTONIO -- Count on Caron Butler being prominently featured in the Mavs' first quarter offense.

Butler has jacked up a combined 17 shots in the first quarter of the last two games.

It didn't work in Game 4, when Butler went 3-of-9 from the floor and was whistled for two offensive fouls.

It worked wonderfully in Game 5, when Butler blew up for a dozen points on 5-of-8 shooting.

But Butler's early offense is partially by design. The Mavs want him to be the guy who gets them going. Early opportunities have been there for him in the last couple of games.

"It’s more than coming down calling a play and directing the ball for him," coach Rick Carlisle said. "At this point in a playoff series, it’s about recognition and a feel guys have for each other on the floor."

In other words, get the ball to the guy Richard Jefferson is guarding.