Shawn Marion should be in talks for Defensive Player of The Year, the only small forward to ever win the award was Ron Artest in 2003-04 for the Pacers. The coach of that Indiana team was, wait for it, Rick Carlisle. Seems that a second small forward has a chance to win this year, even though over the past couple of years it has been a big man award. Marion missed his third and final game due to a sore left knee, which could be in relation to the tenacious defense played by Marion this season. Experts thought Dallas couldn’t play any defense once Tyson Chandler left for the Knicks, but the Mavs are still surprisingly the number 1 defensive team on points per possession in the Western Conference. The only other player in the NBA that can defend multiple positions like Marion is LeBron James, since he can guard all five positions at times.
Dallas this week faces Houston at home, and then travels to Miami to battle the Heat in a Finals rematch, and on Friday take on the Magic. Houston is still without Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin, with that said this team is never an easy win. They beat the Thunder in OKC in a thrilling game, and Dallas was able to squeeze out a win in Houston over the weekend. The games against the Heat and Magic will be tough road games against top Eastern Conference teams. It will be the first time Dallas has played in Miami since they won the finals in June. Luckily for the Mavs, the Heat will be coming off two days rest and will look for a repeat performance first game of the season where the Heat thrashed the Mavs in Dallas. Miami is the best team in the league at home, 20-2, and haven’t lost there since late January. Probably the most up and down team in the NBA, Orlando, ranks third in 3 point shooting. This team lives and dies by the three ball, and then there is Dwight Howard, Mark Cuban can only continue to drool at the possibility of pulling him away from Orlando.
Brendan Haywood and Delonte West are still out and will not be available for the game against Houston. It looks like West might be able to return against the Heat or the Magic, but word is next week against the Clippers is the best chance he will get back in the lineup. Brandon Wright has stepped up big for Dallas in Haywood’s absence, on Saturday against Houston, Wright put up 14 points (7-9 from the field), 6 rebounds and 7 blocks (career high) in 34 minutes off the bench.
Lamar Odom, who was upset for being booed by Mavs fans, continues to pout and whine. I have been a big fan of Odom in past, talented player, tremendous rebounder and passer, and crafty on the offensive end, but this season has destroyed everything I thought about him. At this point I wish Odom was down in the D-League until he proved worthy enough or until he showed he actually cared. His play has been atrocious and just watching him I am flabbergasted he even dresses out. Against his old team, the Lakers, Odom played 24 minutes and tallied just one point, rebound and assist. Yes, read that stat line one more time, 1-1-1 in 24 minutes, and yet Odom wonders why he was booed. Dallas fans, and I am sure players as well, can not wait until Odom is sent packing, or at least I will be.
About the Author
Written by Max Barton
Current student at the University of Oklahoma, my passion is sports and trying to make that passion my profession.