DALLAS -- With some strong emphasis on defense, the Dallas Mavericks rank second in the NBA in steals with 10.2 per game.
The only team ahead of the Mavs are the Detroit Pistons, who average 10.4 steals per contest.
Armmed with their sticky fingers and their ability to play the passing lanes, the Mavs have collected at least 10 steals in six of their 10 games. That includes the 12 they picked up during this past Saturday's 108-100 win over the Orlando Magic.
Backup center DeJuan Blair is the Mavs' chief thief, followed by shooting guard Monta Ellis. Blair is tied for seventh in the league in steals with 2.2 per game, while Ellis is tied for 27th with 1.7 per outing.
"We've got an active team,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "Monta Ellis makes a lot of things happen and we've got some guys that anticipate well.
"But we've got to do it from a position of being solid, from a foundation of solid defense. We can't just be running around willy nilly out there.''
-- Dwain Price
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