Mavs Player Preview: Steve Novak, v.2010-11

The Mavericks promised us they would collect some last-minute bodies in preparation for training camp.

Reported Mavs signee Steve Novak fits that bill.

With Mavs Training Day beginning next week, continues its series of Mavs Player Previews … a few per day between now and Monday's Media Day … with Steve Novak, Version 2010-11.

What Is Working. Steve Novak represents "unconventionality'' in the sense that he's a "stretch power forward'' who is 6-10 but can play on the perimeter player with his career 40.3 percentage from 3-point range. He's also just 27, so while Novak is one of those "he-is-what-he-is'' guys, he's limited rather than decrepit.

What Isn't Working. Novak cannot stop anybody. His defensive ratings for the Clippers for the last two years are 115 and 113. And nobody is pretending to blame that on the Clippers. And he wasn't able to be much of a factor even in that problem playing just 54 games last season.

What Must Work. Novak has one skill that's kept him in the NBA since being the No. 32 pick in the 2006 NBA Draft to the Rockets. In 2008-09 he was good for 6.9 points per game. That suggests that there is a chance that he could be a Tim Thomas Jr. – again, at least as a perimeter guy and an end-of-bench guy. … Is that Novak? Is that Brian Cardinal, a veteran coming to camp with a similar resume?

Maybe. But we're realistic here. These are the transactions that Sekfo and Fisher chase down; they are not stopping the presses on ESPN for this stuff. Same thing with the on-court impact; Las Vegas is taking notes on lots of ripples, but we doubt that sports betting sites are suddenly taking Mavs games off their boards as they calculate the Novak Factor, you know?

Meanwhile, a question: Is there justification for Dallas' fascination for this type of player?

The Stat Box. Maybe he made an impression on the Mavs last spring. On April 12, he was 6-of-9 from the floor (and 3-of-5 from the arc) in his best outing of the year … in a 117-94 loss to. … Dallas.

The Closing Quote. "We are pleased to add Steve to our roster He is an excellent shooter who will help us space the floor and keep defenses honest." – Then-Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy when Novak was acquired by LAC two seasons ago.

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