Pregame buzz: Brendan Haywood has sore back

NEW ORLEANS -- Maybe Dirk Nowitzki was contagious. Brendan Haywood is also dealing with a sore back.

It isn't an issue that is expected to sideline Haywood against the Hornets, but the Mavs will monitor him.

"At this point, it looks like he's ready to go," coach Rick Carlisle said.

The Mavs have had trouble defending big men during their three-game losing streak. The Lakers' Andrew Bynum (19 points, 14 rebounds), the Nets' Brook Lopez (38 points, six rebounds) and the Grizzlies' Marc Gasol (22 points, 11 rebounds) all had big games.

The Hornets' Chris Kaman isn't having a good season, but he's one of the league's better scoring big men and certainly capable of continuing that trend, especially if Haywood's back acts up tonight.