DALLAS – One of the major stories coming out of these NBA Finals is the fact that Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt has refused to play Shawn Marion at all against the Golden State Warriors.
A 16-year veteran who can effectively guard both guard and both forward positions, Marion has yet to play in any of the five games against the Warriors thus far. And that baffles Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who won an NBA title alongside Marion in 2011.
"He’s still a very, very good defender, a very good rebounder at his position,’’ Nowitzki said Tuesday morning at the Mavs Basketball Academy Hoop Camp at Episcopal School of Dallas. "But obviously I’m not there to judge the whole situation.
"But I thought he might get some run, especially against the quick lineup (the Warriors) go with some times, or they start with it now where (Draymond) Green is at (center) and (Andre) Iguodala is at (power forward). You figure even (Mike) Miller or a smaller guy would get some run, but I’m not the one who makes decisions.’’
Marion played just one minute in the Cavs’ first-round series against Boston, 11 minutes in the second round against Chicago, and 13 minutes in the Eastern Conference Finals against Atlanta. A teammate of Nowitzki’s from 2009 through last season, Marion has already announced that he will retire after this season.
The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series against the Cavs 3-2 with Game 6 set for 8 tonight in Cleveland.