All seemed lost for the Mavericks at the center position this past offseason when Dallas got duped by DeAndre Jordan and Tyson Chandler bolted to the Phoenix Suns. It resulted in the Mavs signing 6-foot-11 Zaza Pachulia in a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks in July.
Although Pachulia wasn’t Dallas’ number one (or number two) option at center, he has proved that the Mavs most definitely got him for a bargain. Zaza is no DeAndre Jordan, or even Tyson Chandler for that matter, but he has surprised a lot of people with his play thus far 19 games into the season.
For the first time in his career Pachulia is averaging a double-double 11 ppg. 10 rpg., and has proven to be a savvy defender on a consistent basis.
In the Mavs’ most recent game against Portland Pachulia was grabbing every rebound in sight, finishing the game with 21 boards and racking up 14 points as well.
Although it may be too early in the season to say if Pachulia is a legitimate choice for the Mavs’ starting center spot or not — especially with JaVale McGee now active — he has shown that he can hold his own on a nightly basis against some of the top bigs in the league.
As a 12-year veteran in the league the wear and tear of a lengthy season might creep up on Pachulia, but for now he’s definitely played an integral role in the Mavericks’ 11-8 start to the season, which puts them tied for the No. 3 spot in the west with OKC.
As the Mavs prepare to play the Rockets tonight Zaza may very well put up similar numbers that he had against Portland as Dwight Howard will not be suiting up for Houston.