Buzz: Chris Kaman, Dahntay Jones start

DALLAS – Since Chris Kaman already spilled the beans after the shootaround, coach Rick Carlisle went ahead and confirmed the changes for his starting five against the Wizards.

Kaman will replace Brandan Wright at center. Dahntay Jones will replace Jae Crowder at small forward.

“By the way, if he does a cameo on 'Homeland,' I guarantee you there’s going to be two scenes,” Carlisle said of Kaman. “There’ll be one secluded hunting scene in the woods. There’s going to be another interrogation scene where he folds under questioning.”

Of course, the Mavs didn’t sign Kaman to a one-year, $8 million deal for his ability to keep secrets. They signed him to be their starting big man.

Carlisle hopes Kaman is in the starting lineup to stay. The primary reason Kaman hasn’t been the starter is because Carlisle wanted to carefully manage the big man’s minutes coming off the strained right calf that caused Kaman to miss the first two games of the season.

“This guy’s a damn good player, and he’s shown that in the majority of games he’s played,” Carlisle said. “I think now’s the time to get him out there.”

Carlisle also wants to give the Kaman-Elton Brand combo, which has a good run with the Clippers, a chance to click.

That duo started a few preseason games together, but Carlisle didn’t like what he saw. Brand and Kaman have only played 15 minutes together during the regular season.

“We’re both two different players now, two older players than we were before,” Kaman said. “But we both understand the game, and I think we’re a good combination together. We’ll try it out.”

As far as Jones’ starting assignment goes, it might only be for one game. Shawn Marion continues to make progress in his recovery from a sprained MCL in his left knee that has caused him to miss four games, including Wednesday's. Carlisle is optimistic that Marion will join the Mavs for this weekend’s trip to Indiana and Cleveland.

Jones is taking a simple approach to his spot start.

“Our energy level hasn’t been what it’s supposed to be,” Jones said. “All I can do is provide energy and play defense and communicate to help us get going in the right direction.”