Shawn Marion hopes to return Friday

DALLAS -- Forward Shawn Marion isn’t quite ready to return after missing the past seven games with a strained left calf.

“It’s better, but I’m not going tonight [against the Nets],” Marion said after going through some of the Mavs' shootaround Wednesday. “Hopefully I’ll be ready by Friday.”

The Mavs have gone 5-2 during the absence of Marion, their most versatile player, best defender and leading rebounder. The Mavs face the Celtics on Friday.

Rookie Jae Crowder has done a capable job filling in as the starting small forward. Brandan Wright has taken advantage of power forward minutes made available by Marion’s injury.