DALLAS – Shawn Marion, the Mavs’ starting small forward and defensive swiss-army knife, sat out Wednesday’s practice to rest a sore left knee.
Coach Rick Carlisle said Marion, the only Maverick to play every game this season, is day-to-day. Carlisle hopes that Marion will be available for Thursday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats, but the Mavs won’t push Marion to play if he doesn’t feel 100 percent.
“We’d rather not sit our better players, but if there’s any need at all for it, it’s something that we’ve got to look at it,” Carlisle said. “If there’s any doubt, we need to sit the guy if there’s any question about whether a guy should play or not play unless we’re in a playoff series.”
Marion, who averages 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season, complained about feeling worn down before the All-Star break. His role has changed in the month that Delonte West has been sidelined by a fractured right ring finger, as the Mavs have routinely given Marion the assignment of defending dangerous point guards.
Chasing the smaller, quicker players and fighting through a plethora of picks for 30-plus minutes per night has taken a toll on Marion’s body, but the Mavs aren’t concerned about the knee being a long-term concern.
“His knee has been a little bit sore,” Carlisle said, adding that Marion doesn’t need to get an MRI on the knee. “He’s been logging a lot of minutes guarding smaller, quicker players, so he needed a day off today. Hopefully, he’ll be OK for tomorrow, but he’s been doing a lot of our grunt work defensively on the better players all year long.”
If Marion doesn’t play against the Bobcats, Lamar Odom will start at small forward.