Harris could give Mavericks backcourt a dash of speed upon his return

Posted Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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All Devin Harris can do is wait.

Wait for the Dallas Mavericks’ doctors to give him a clean bill of health so he can go through a full practice session, and subsequently get on the basketball court and in a regular-season game.

Wait for the opportunity when he gets on the floor with Monta Ellis and give the Mavs what owner Mark Cuban calls “the fastest backcourt in the NBA.”

Until then Harris, who is recovering from off-season toe surgery on his left foot, has been limited in what he can do on the court. But the 6-foot-3 point guard, who might not return until next month, is eager to show that he can be a huge factor this season.

“I’m anxious to get out there, but I’ve got to be smart about it,” Harris said. “I’ve noticed the way they like to push the ball.

“Obviously that’s part of my game that I relish ... getting in transition and creating mismatches and opportunities. It’s hard to watch, but I’m just picking out things here and there, and things that I try to focus on when I get back.”

Harris also has envisioned what it will be like playing in the backcourt with starting point guard Jose Calderon, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting last season at 46.1 percent.

“Calderon can play both [guard] positions and he’s a great shooter,” Harris said. “The way he gets guys the ball in the right spots, whether I play point guard or shooting guard, I think we’ll just play off each other, and I’m looking forward to it.”

This is Harris’ second go-around with the Mavs, who acquired him in a draft day trade with Washington after the Wizards made him the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NBA Draft.

The Mavs won 58, 60 and 67 games in the three full seasons Harris was with them from 2004-07. They were 35-18 when they included him in an eight-player trade that brought Jason Kidd to the Mavs from the New Jersey Nets in February 2008.

The transition from a winning team to a losing one was difficult on Harris, then 24.

“Being so young it was hard, especially going from a team that won 60 games to a team that didn’t make the playoffs the next couple of years,” said Harris, 30, who signed a one-year, $884,293 contract with the Mavs on July 31.

“Obviously it was tough being so young and having so much success early on as a team, even though I had individual success in those type of situations. “But I missed being in the playoffs and being on good teams.”

Now, Harris just misses being on the court.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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