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Mavericks Shooting Guards: Who Wants The Starting Job?

We are two exhibition games from the start of the regular season, and one Mavericks starting spot is still unsettled. Jason Terry received the start at the shooting guard spot Friday night and, according to Eddie Sefko, appears to be the leader heading into the stretch. 

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The auditions at shooting guard have been ongoing and will continue in the final two preseason games. But Terry, who has put added emphasis on defense and still is the best option when it comes to stretching the court with his shooting, has made a strong case that he should start.

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Terry and Kidd is not a good defensive pairing however you slice it, but he does add a third viable scoring option to the starting lineup. The primary alternative is likely a big lineup with Shawn Marion at the three and Caron Butler sliding down to the two. That alignment didn't work too well late last season, but the Mavs have worked on it in camp. The most likely scenario might be to match the bigger or smaller group against the opponent's starters. Either way, this should be an issue only until Roddy Beaubois is healthy and fit, so it may not be a bad idea to find out early what Terry has left in his tank.

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Dominique Jones has started some preseason games himself, with mixed results. Despite some key missed free throws Friday night, Jones has shown improvement in the past two games. 

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Earl K. Snead spoke with Rick Carlisle about his progress.

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"He's really showing signs of improvement," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the rookie's development. "He recognizes situations now and is a quick learner. He has a lot being thrown at him now, but he is showing he can handle it and he is a quick learner."

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After watching Jones in summer league and a handful of preseason games, I think that the key question is whether he has such a knack for finishing that he can overcome a lack of explosive athleticism. He is obviously comfortable going to the basket, can make the right pass, and has enough strength. As the game slows down for him, I think he'll make good decisions. But guys his size must have something special to be effective near the basket. Does he have that?

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.