By Eddie Sefko

Amar’e Stoudemire pulled down an offensive rebound after Monta Ellis missed a shot with just more than 2 minutes left in the first quarter Sunday night.

In one motion, Stoudemire wheeled toward the basket and lofted in a short jump hook.

With that one sequence, the newest Maverick showed exactly why he’s so vital to the final 24 games of the regular season and, more importantly, the playoffs.

Stoudemire was brought on board to give the Mavericks a different look at center behind Tyson Chandler and the early results could not have been better during a 92-81 victory over Charlotte.

“I think he showed how he can help us pretty clearly,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The guy knows how to play the game. He’s got a lot of skill. He’s still got a lot of juice.”

Stoudemire played just 11 minutes, but scored 14 points and had three rebounds. He clearly provided a change of pace from starting center Tyson Chandler.

Carlisle said Stoudemire will be used mostly at center, at least for the time being. That could change depending on how the rotation evolves. Against the Hornets, he saw all his action at center.

But Carlisle did not rule out the possibility of Stoudemire and Chandler playing together, just as Chandler and Brandan Wright did at times before the Rajon Rondo trade.

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