Sports

Dallas Mavericks may rest Shawn Marion against Bobcats

DALLAS -- Mavericks forward Shawn Marion sat out Wednesday's practice at American Airlines Center, and coach Rick Carlisle might rest the starter for tonight's game against Charlotte.

"If needed, if needed," Carlisle said when asked if Marion could be given a game off. "We'd rather not sit our better players, but if there's any need for it. It's something we've got to look at."

Carlisle said Marion's left knee has bothered him the last couple of days.

"His knee's been a little bit sore," the coach said. "He's been logging a lot of minutes guarding smaller, quicker players, so he needed off today. Hopefully he'll be OK for tomorrow."

With Delonte West (fractured finger) out for an extended period, and Brendan Haywood returning Tuesday after missing four games with a left ankle sprain, Marion's presence has been considerable for the defending NBA champions.

"He's been doing a lot of our grunt work, defensively, on the better players all year long," Carlisle said. "He's been really key for us, particularly in the last month-and-a-half.

"If there's any doubt, we need to sit the guy. At this point we've got to rely on our depth."

Tick tock, tick tock

The league trade deadline is 2 p.m. today. Rick Carlisle half-chuckled when asked to reveal any Mavericks moves.

"Am I going to tell you if we're going to make a trade?" he deadpanned. "They'll let me know, and you guys will know soon enough.

"I don't see us doing anything, that's my opinion. Then we'll see. You never know. Big surprises have happened before."

Guard Jason Terry, in the final year of his contract, is not worried.

"No not at all. It's nothing to me," Terry said. "If something happens, it happens. If something doesn't, which we expect nothing, then we'll see."

Guard Jason Kidd also expects the team to remain unchanged.

A better schedule

The lone back-to-back-to-back done, Rick Carlisle said the rest of the regular season looks more like a regular NBA schedule.

"We went through a difficult stretch," he said, referring to last week's three losses in three nights. "We've got three home games. We've got a little spacing in the schedule. We've got to play better and we've got to take advantage of home.

"We don't have the same kind of craziness of back-to-backs and a lot of four-in-fives and triple back-to-backs. Our health situation is getting a little bit better, pending [Shawn] Marion's situation, and we've got to hope Delonte can get back soon rather than later, because he's a big part of our defense."

Interchangeable

Rick Carlisle said Lamar Odom is adjusting to moving from power forward to small forward.

"A guy like him always has a decided quickness and mobility advantage against the 4s [power forwards]," Carlisle said. "The 3s [small forwards] are a little more challenging. You've got to defend guys that are a little more dynamic, that shoot it from further out. He's made a lot of progress."

Eric Zarate, 817-390-7760

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