Anthony Morrow gives Mavericks more firepower

Cary Emondson-US PRESSWIRE

The Dallas Mavericks upgraded their offense by acquiring Anthony Morrow from the Atlanta Hawks before the trade deadline.

If Anthony Morrow is one thing, it's a pure gunner. And with the Dallas Mavericks looking for a shooting upgrade before the Thursday trade deadline, trading away defensive-stopper Dahntay Jones to the Atlanta Hawks in return for Morrow was the perfect fit.

Rick Carlisle now has a firecracker off the bench who behind starting shooting guard O.J. Mayo can act as a poor man's Jamal Crawford. Though the Mavs lose a talented perimeter defender in Jones, the move signals their belief that a tweak can get them back into the playoff picture.

Though the Mavericks are 4½ games out of the eight spot as of Thursday, the acquisition of Morrow can be viewed as a spark. Jettisoned to the bench in Atlanta and playing in just 24 games so far this season, the 27-year-old Georgia Tech product is in the midst of his worst NBA season. He is averaging 5.2 points in just 12.5 minutes per game.

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And on a Dallas team that is all about revivals, he fits.

Vince Carter and Shawn Marion are in their second winds as role players who were once the best at what they do in the game. Dirk Nowitzki is holding off on people calling his career, and Mayo is proving that he can carry the burden as a star.

So Morrow, who in four previous seasons never averaged less than 10.1 points per game, also is on the launching pad to get back to doing what he's best at; that would be shooting.

Morrow is a 42.5 career 3-point shooter, and it isn't as if he's a selective shooter at that. He takes nearly four 3-point attempts per game for his career, and in his first three seasons -- two with Golden State and one with the New Jersey Nets -- had an individual offensive rating of at least 113 points per 100 possessions, which this year would rank in the top 50 of the NBA, according to Basketball-Reference.com.

At 6'5, 210 pounds, Morrow will relieve Dallas' second unit in the scoring department once Mayo is on the bench. He should also take pressure off Carter to score. Carter is taking 10 shots per game, but shooting 43 percent, a couple ticks less than his career average.

And along with Jae Crowder, Morrow will help spread the floor for Nowitzki isolations, and for penetration from either Mayo or point guard Darren Collison.

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