DALLAS -- For the Dallas Mavericks, the ability to get Derek Fisher at this stage of the season has been a godsend.
"I think we were fortunate that he was available, and the timing was right,'' said Donnie Nelson. the Mavs' president of basketall operations. "He adds leadership, he adds big playmaking ability in crunch time, and certainly three-point clutch shooting.
"And he’s perfect with the Mavericks that are in that locker room. He’s going to fit in really well with our guys.''
The Mavs have had a world of difficulties at point guard this season. Thus, they knew they could no longer keep their heads in the sand about it.
Darren Collison started the first 14 games at point guard for the Mavs and Dominique Jones started the last two games. Rodrigue Beaubois and rookie Jared Cunningham have also seen time at point guard.
None were consistently efficient.
Fisher, who signed a contract with the Mavs on Thursday, has been brought on board to help stabilize the point guard position.
"All of our young players are going to learn and get better as a result of him being on the squad,'' Nelson said. "I think he’s kind of a coach on the floor, and has got a real calming influence.
"I think he’s going to be a welcome addition.''
Fisher, 38, will practice Friday and may start in Saturday night's home game against the Detroit Pistons. The five-time NBA champion also will bring his own brand of coaching -- with the Mavs' young playmakers serving as his prodigies.
"We like what we see from our young guys,'' Nelson said. "This is going to be an opportunity for those guys to learn from one of the all-time greats.''
-- Dwain Price
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