Now that DeShawn Stevenson has given the Dallas Mavericks two solid games as the starting shooting guard, has he given coach Rick Carlisle enough confidence to keep him in that role until Roddy Beaubois returns from injury?
Carlisle wouldn't commit that far, but he's clearly been impressed with how the veteran guard, mostly a fringe rotation player since he was acquired last February, has competed at both ends of the floor as an emergency starter. Carlisle initially made the move in Monday's game against the Boston Celtics to allow Jason Terry to spark a bench crew that was struggling to score.
"I love the way he's playing. He's been ready to play every single game he's been here in a Mavs uniform," Carlisle said of Stevenson. "It's a credit to his professionalism."
Stevenson certainly hasn't given Carlisle any reason not to start him for a third consecutive game in tonght's home game against the Philadelphia 76ers (2-6), losers at Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. The Sixers were without Andre Iguodala for a second straight game with Achilles' tendinitis in his right foot.
Stevenson could be a valuable player in this one if he's asked to start against Philadelphia rookie Evan Turner, who played more than 38 minutes at Oklahoma City.
Not only has Stevenson been a strong perimeter defender as he also showed at times last season, but Stevenson is knocking down the 3-point shot as well. He had 11 points in the Memphis win, hitting 3-of-5 from downtown. In the last two games, he's made 5-of-10.
Meanwhile, Terry hasn't missed a beat coming off the bench the last two games after starting the first five. He scored 25 points at Memphis and he's put up 20 points or more in three of his last four games to take his scoring average to a shade under 20 a game.