DALLAS -- Here are the defensive assignments this week for DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Terry, Shawn Marionand anybody else coach Rick Carlisle feels inclined to throw into the mix: Richard Hamilton, Kevin Durant, Manu Ginobili and Dwyane Wade.
"There are tons of great players in this league and we’ll see a lot of them this week," Carlisle said. "That’s one of the challenges you’ve got to love. Dealing with those guys, both individually and as a team, is what it’s all about."
Tonight's opposing shooting guard, the Detroit Pistons' Hamilton is not off to a great start. He's averaging 13.5 points on 41.9 percent shooting, which includes just 28.6 percent from beyond the 3-point line. Still, the masked man is always dangerous. He's coming off a 27-point game in the Pistons' overtime win Sunday.
On the back end of this four-games-in-five-night stretch is the curiously struggling Wade and the 8-6 Heat. Wade injured his hamstring in the preseason and more recently hurt his wrist. In his return from the wrist injury on Monday, Wade scored three points on 1-of-13 shooting and is 5-of-26 in his last two games.
Wade averaged 26.0 points in his first eight games and just 14.0 in his last five.
There are no such struggles in the middle two games. The Thunder's Durant is averaging 28.0 points, although the Mavs have a history of slowing him down. The Spurs' Ginobili is having a phenomenal start to the season, averaging more than 20 points and nearly five assists as the Spurs have gotten off to an NBA-best 12-1 start.