Dampier ought to sit vs. Suns

The Mavericks left for Phoenix uncertain whether center Erick Dampier would play against the Suns.

The left knee effusion continues to bother Dampier, who sat out Sunday's rout of the Knicks and limped through 35 minutes during Tuesday's win over the Bucks.

Dampier's availability is kind of an all-or-nothing deal. When he suits up, coach Rick Carlisle doesn't want Dampier on the bench for extended stretches.

"Part of the issue is if you pull him out and sit him for a long time, then it stiffens up," Carlisle said.

It might be in the best interests of the Mavs and the big man if Dampier takes Thursday night off.

Dampier doesn't match up well with the Suns, especially when he's hobbled. Asking him to defend Amare Stoudemire doesn't seem fair. Putting him on perimeter-shooting center Channing Frye takes Dampier out of his defensive comfort zone.

Drew Gooden is much better suited to match up with the Suns than Dampier. Tim Thomas is more than capable of serving as a reserve center. Let Dampier rest his sore left knee for another night.