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Carlisle clears up Marion record

DALLAS -- Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has said he's prepared to keep Shawn Marion as his starting small forward.

It has been brought to his attention that as well as Marion has played this season, the Mavs are just 10-13 when he starts. For much of the season, Marion and Jason Terry served as co-sixth men, often subbing into the game at the same time, and it was a formula that served the Mavs very well.

The pair was permanently split up, however when Peja Stojakovic was sidelined for six games with a stiff neck in mid-March.

Carlisle scoffed at reading into the team's record with Marion as a starter and said there should be an asterisk by that 10-13 mark.

"Let me clear that up: We're 8-4 when he starts at the 3 [small forward] with Dirk [Nowitzki] and Tyson [Chandler]," Carlisle said. "He started a lot during that period when Dirk was out. He started some periods where we were struggling and Dirk was on his way back. So, it's important to understand that there have been some mitigating circumstances and the overall record with him as a starter is deceiving because he was playing different positions at times and with a vastly different surrounding cast."

Marion has averaged 14.5 points and 6.8 rebounds in 30.5 minutes as a starter; and 11.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in 26.9 minutes as a reserve. He's averaged 20.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in the last three games, all as a starter, and all Mavs losses.

Of course, two of those four losses have come at the front end of this four-game losing skid. Chandler has missed the last two games with a sore lower back.

Carlisle is optimistic that he will have his full starting lineup ready to go for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.