Derek Fisher era off to good start with Mavericks

Posted Monday, Dec. 03, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

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DALLAS -- Derek Fisher's first game with the Dallas Mavericks was a smashing success.

Fisher didn't put up gaudy numbers in Saturday's 92-77 victory over the Detroit Pistons, but his intangibles were a difference maker.

"It's going to take some time for him to get his legs; I've been saying that all along," coach Rick Carlisle said. "He enhances our situation a lot of different ways.

"He gives us more options, and his experience, you just can't substitute what that means. I liked when he and [Darren] Collison were together, I thought that was a pretty productive lineup."

Fisher finished Saturday's game with two points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals and three turnovers in 24 minutes, and was only 1 of 8 shooting from the field. But his presence relieved pressure on Collison and the Mavs' other young point guards while running Carlisle's flow offense.

"Derek Fisher solidifies the unit, he keeps us tight and he's a proven veteran," forward Elton Brand said. "There's not a shot he hasn't seen, not a defense he hasn't seen. He's very heady and very smart out there."

So what did the 38-year-old, 17-year veteran think of his opening act with the Mavericks (8-9)?

"I think overall my conditioning was pretty good," Fisher said. "I didn't feel like physically I couldn't go.

"But basketball is a game of timing and rhythm and obviously playing and understanding spots on the floor, where shots are going to come from, understanding time and score, who you're out there on the floor with. There's a lot to think about and process."

Fisher's addition could benefit Collison the most. Playing 27 minutes off the bench Saturday, Collison collected five points, two rebounds, eight assists and one steal.

The eight assists are a season high for Collison in his fewest minutes played. He did not commit a turnover for the third time this season.

"Darren Collison played his role great," Brand said. "He came off the bench and helped us lock up and create turnovers. He's playing his role."

Fisher, who has five championship rings, said he's not concerned with statistics and he focuses on helping the team.

"I won't worry about how I'm looking individually," he said. "It's really just more so how I can help impact this team in a positive way.

Brand makes impact

Elton Brand played his best game of the season Saturday, finishing with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in 28 minutes off the bench.

The points and rebounds tied Brand's season highs, and the blocks were a season high.

"This was a vintage game for him," Rick Carlisle said of Brand, who outscored the Detroit reserves 17-15. "He got into the flow of the game, he got into it and he affected it greatly on both ends, he had blocks and he had rebounds in traffic.

"He was hitting shots and making passes. It was really a big-time effort when we really needed it most."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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