DALLAS – Brendan Haywood doesn’t judge his game based on his line in the box score.
As a big man for the Mavs -- a “no-glory” position in the words of coach Rick Carlisle -- that’s the right approach. Haywood just wants to contribute to a winning team, doing whatever that entails on that particular night.
The fact that the Mavs have allowed the NBA’s fewest points in the paint this season reflects well on Haywood, who is averaging 5.7 points and 6.9 rebounds while splitting time with Ian Mahinmi. Anchoring the defense is his primary responsibility.
“Some games teams are going to be ignoring the 5, so we need to be big in the lane scoring the ball,” Haywood said. “Sometimes we’re going to have to secure the boards and make sure that we do a lot of the dirty work that doesn’t show up in the SportsCenter highlights. As long as you get it done and make your impact felt in rebounds, points or blocked shots, that’s all that we ask from our bigs.”
Haywood has done all of that lately. He averaged 9.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 24.5 minutes per game during the week that Dirk Nowitzki rested, playing a key role in the Mavs going 3-1 without their superstar. Haywood had his most impressive box score line of the season in Friday night’s win over the Jazz, registering his first double-double of the year (12 points, 12 rebounds) and blocking two shots.
The most important stat: The Mavs were plus-30 with Haywood on the floor in their three wins last week.