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News » Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-10-30

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-10-30

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-10-30Dirk Nowitzki is the franchise and Jason Kidd is its quarterback. The Mavericks' success would seem to start with those two Hall of Famers. And while that's probably true, the key to this season is Dallas' newest All-Star.

Shawn Marion is being counted on to affect it all, not do it all. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wants to be one of top teams in the league on both ends of the court. Cue the Matrix.

"He's been one of the most unique defensive players in the Western Conference and really the entire league the last eight to 10 years," Carlisle said. "And we need to get better defensively and that starts with getting guys that are better defenders, and he's the main reason why we are getting more excited about our abilities at that end.

"Offensively, he's going to be a three-position player for us. He'll play 3, 4 or 5. He's very unique on the offensive end. Certainly you can run stuff for him, but he's demonstrated over his career that in a course of the game he's a movement maker and just makes a lot of great things happen off the ball and finds way to score. He's going to fit in well with the group of players we have."

Marion was bothered by nagging injuries throughout the preseason but was in the starting lineup for the opener Tuesday with Washington. With Josh Howard still out, Marion will often be counted on to guard the opponent's best perimeter player in crunch time. He'll have an early test against Kobe Bryant when the Mavs travel to Los Angeles to face the Lakers on Friday.

WIZARDS 102, MAVERICKS 91: Gilbert Arenas scored 29 points as Washington held on for an impressive win at Dallas in the season opener. Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points for the Mavs, but only five in the fourth quarter.

Dallas got off to a solid start, taking a 15-9 lead in the early going. The Wizards took control in the second period and never lost the lead in the second half.

Other than Nowitzki, the Mavs struggled to generate offense. None of Nowitzki's teammates scored more than Shawn Marion's 16. Dallas shot only 39.5 percent and scored just 41 in the second half.

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Added: October 30, 2009


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