Shawn Marion is game-time decision

DALLAS -- Shawn Marion completed the first half of his test Wednesday by participating in the team's morning shootaround. Next up was getting his sore left knee checked out by head athletic trainer Casey Smith.

Smith's evaluation will ultimately decide if Marion will return from a two-game absence tonight to face Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. Officially, Marion is listed as a game-time decision.

"Feeling better," Marion said after the shootaround. "Don't know yet [about playing]. We've got to talk about it."

Marion's presence in the lineup would be significant because arguably no one has guarded Kobe, the league's leading scorer, better. Marion has limited him to a 14.5-point average in two games with a shooting percentage below 30.

If Marion can't go, the Mavs must figure out a way to defend the 6-foot-6 Bryant. That likely will fall some on Vince Carter, Rodrigue Beaubois and, in spurts, Jason Kidd, who hounded Kobe in crunch time during last season's playoff sweep.

Asked if he was ready to take that challenge, Kidd smiled and said, "It's early."

Maybe he'll be ready after a nap.