DALLAS --DeJuan Blair calls this his new lease on life.
Saddled at the end of the San Antonio Spurs' bench last season, Blair has been a key contributor for Dallas after signing a one-year, $884,293 free agent contract with the Mavericks in August. The five-year veteran backup center is averaging 8.7 points and 7.4 rebounds, and is fifth in the NBA in steals with 2.43 per game.
In describing his displeasure at being mired in Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's doghouse to where he is now, Blair said it's like going from the outhouse to the penthouse.
"Another man’s trash is another man’s treasure,'' Blair said after Tuesday's shoot around at American Airlines Center. "I'm taking the last couple of years with the Spurs and everything -- fans hating -- and everything everybody's been saying is all fuel to what I'm doing right now and I'm just trying to be
"That’s my main thing.''
The Mavs have been appreciative of the yeoman's work Blair has turned in off the bench. And they know he came to Dallas with a chip on his shoulder and trying to prove that he got a raw deal in San Antonio.
"I know he didn’t play that much last year,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "Any time you go to a new team and there’s an opportunity to get minutes and be a part of something, it’s an important thing.
"In the first seven games he’s established some good things and it's all about consistency and
keeping it going.''
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter